London RCA Secret 2015
Snap up original postcard-sized artworks by new and internationally acclaimed artists.
- Yinka Shonibare
- Paula Rego
- John Baldessari
- Orla Kiely
- David Bailey
- Jeremy Deller
- Frank Bowling
- Angela De La Cruz
- Grayson Perry
- Jarvis Cocker
- Annette Messager
- Richard Long
- Zandra Rhodes
- Ryan Gander
- Mimmo Paladino
- Zaha Hadid
- Christopher Bailey
- Paul Smith
- Katy Moran
- Thomas Hirschhorn
How it works
Stewarts Law RCA Secret is an exhibition and sale of original postcard-sized artworks, by internationally acclaimed artists plus up-and-coming graduates from the Royal College of Art.
It's a chance to get your hands on original works of art for a tiny price, while supporting students at a formative time in their careers. Each postcard in Stewarts Law RCA Secret is signed only on the back, so collectors don't know the identity of the artists until they have made their purchases.
1 Browse the postcards
Visit the exhibition and find the postcards you like the most. Or browse through the cards, which go online when the exhibition opens, and save your favourites (you must register as a collector first). Some images may be unsuitable for young children.
2 Come to the Secret sale
Sale day is Saturday 21 March. The gallery is closed to visitors and buyers are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Some buyers like to arrive very early, to nab their place at the front of the queue!
3 Buy your favourites
If no one else snaps them up first, you can buy your favourite cards from the exhibition on sale day, in person. Buyers must have registered on the website and have a buyer’s ID.
4 Discover the secret
After the sale closes, at 6.30pm, you can check the website where the artists’ names are revealed online beside each card, and the list of artists’ names links to their artworks – the secret is revealed.
Get to the front of the queue
RCA Secret holds a raffle for the first 50 places in the queue. Raffle tickets can only be purchased in person from the exhibition by collectors with a valid buyer’s ID, and are strictly limited to 20 tickets per person. Raffle winners are admitted an hour before the general public. If you are lucky enough to be picked, you must bring valid ID (e.g. driving license, bank card) that confirms your registered name.
The exhibition is open Thursday 12 March to Friday 20 March 2015, 11am–6pm daily (late opening until 9pm on 19 March only), and admission is free to all visitors. On sale day, Saturday 21 March 2015 from 8am–6pm, the exhibition is closed to visitors.
Yes, they will be available to view on this site from 12 March 2015.
Artists from all over the world produce postcards for RCA Secret, and the idiosyncrasies of the international postage system mean they don't always arrive on time. Those spaces will be filled with wondrous images, so check back over the next few days to see the late arrivals. Cards 1668, 1793, 1921, 1964, 2013, 2021, 2207, 2955 and 2982 are not blanks (look closely), and are presented as the artists intended: .
We're not sending paper invitations this year (in deference to our friends the trees), so make sure you register, or log in to remind yourself of your buyer's ID, before you come to the sale.
Yes, you will need to register for a buyer's ID number to purchase a card, in advance of the sale. Registering is easy — just click the link at the top of this page. If you're already registered, you can check your buyer's ID by going to your account.
We want as many people as possible to go away with a postcard they love, so the maximum number each collector can buy is four.
We all love a well-organised queue, but 50 lucky people will be able to be very badly behaved and jump straight to the front. Raffle tickets are on sale throughout the Stewarts Law RCA Secret exhibition, from 11am to 5pm, and each lucky winner will be allocated one of the first 50 places in the queue. Tickets are priced at £1 each, and you must be a registered collector to buy some. They're limited to 20 per collector, so everyone has a fair chance of jumping the queue.
Stewarts Law RCA Secret works on a first-come, first-served basis and inspires early-bird devotion from a large fan base. It's no exaggeration to say the queue will begin in earnest from about 5am and continue growing until doors open at 8am. Later in the day, from about 1pm, the queue will be shorter and there are usually still plenty of postcards to choose from. So if you're not much of a one for standing in line, you can still enjoy the sale. Big names and exquisite masterpieces, missed by the early customers, have been picked up by eagle-eyed afternoon shoppers.
There are inexpensive hotels nearby in Clapham Junction (bus 319 and 49), and Victoria (bus 170). Just across Battersea Bridge, Chelsea offers more luxurious accommodation. There are plenty of websites that offer help finding accommodation in London, including Visit London and AirBnB.
When you get to the front of the queue, give the cashier your buyer's ID and the numbers of your favourite cards, and they will let you know which ones are still available. It's best to prepare a nice long list so that you can be sure to get something you like. Once you have your fab four and have paid for them, you will be given a collection slip that you take to the gallery. A runner will take the work from the display for you. Once they're wrapped, you can dash home with a little art collection of your own.
You can, but there's a small surcharge for credit and debit cards (and Amex is not accepted). Cash is also accepted of course, and helps to speed up the transaction that little bit. Remember, the proceeds from Stewarts Law RCA Secret go directly to support future students at the RCA.
It's a veritable Who's Who! Grayson Perry, Yinka Shonibare, Paula Rego, John Baldessari, David Bailey, Ryan Gander and Richard Long all made special works for us, as well as architect Zaha Hadid, fashion designers Christopher Bailey and Sir Paul Smith.
Law firm Stewarts Law kindly supports RCA Secret, so we can give as much of the postcard sale proceeds as possible to support students at the Royal College of Art.
You must be registered with RCA Secret and have a buyer's ID before you can save your favourite postcards. Registering is easy — just click the link at the top of this page. Once you're logged in, click on a postcard you like, and you'll be invited to 'Favourite' it. If you change your mind, you can 'Remove from favourites' in the same way. To view all your favourites, go to the FAVOURITES tab above the postcards.