London RCA Secret 2018

Support the next generation of RCA students and snap up original postcard-sized artworks by new and internationally acclaimed artists, illustrators and designers. All funds raised through RCA Secret go directly back to the student experience at the RCA.

Previous contributors

  • Tracey Emin
  • Norman Foster
  • Zandra Rhodes
  • Yinka Shonibare
  • Manolo Blahnik
  • Paul Smith
  • Mike Leigh
  • Sir James Dyson
  • Anish Kapoor
  • Yinka Shonibare
  • Paula Rego
  • David Bowie
  • Grayson Perry and John Squire

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Previous RCA Secret Postcards

How it works

Stewarts RCA Secret is a fundraising exhibition of original postcard-sized artworks by internationally acclaimed artists, illustrators and designers plus up-and-coming graduates and students from the Royal College of Art.

As one of the biggest and most anticipated events of the College year, RCA Secret not only directly helps the next generation of artists and designers pursue their studies and supports students at a formative time in their careers, but also gives you a chance to get your hands on original works of art for a small donation. The Secret? Each postcard is signed only on the back, so supporters don’t know the identity of the artists until they have made their donation.

  • 1 Register as a Secret supporter

    You must have registered on the website and have an ID Number in order to make your donations at the exhibition.

  • 2 Browse the postcards

    Images of all postcards in the exhibition will be released online on from 9am on Thursday 29 November, 24 hours before the RCA Secret in-person Viewing Day.

  • 3 Select your favourites

    You can select your favourite cards online in advance and make your donation to obtain them at the actual exhibition. Just bear in mind that by selecting online you haven't reserved those cards, postcards are given on a first come first served basis.

  • 4 Discover the secret

    Once the sale closes all artists’ names are revealed online alongside their card, and the secret is revealed!

Early Viewing Day

This year you will have the opportunity to visit the RCA Secret exhibition on Friday 30 November for an in person ‘viewing day’. Postcards will also be available for online viewing, as usual, 24 hours before this. Supporters will be able to make their donations and obtain postcards from Saturday 1 December through to Monday 3 December, so there will be plenty of chances to come and snap up the cards you love.

FAQs

  • How does RCA Secret make a difference?

    The RCA is embarking on its most significant fundraising campaign to date, GenerationRCA, which is a celebration of every past, present and future generation of talented RCA students and staff, the respective successes of which make us the world’s preeminent College of art and design. It is also about the generation of new ideas, new solutions, new visions, new fine art, and new cross-disciplinary studio, workshop and research spaces in which to create them. Supporting RCA Secret is a huge part of this – it helps students achieve these goals at a formative time in their careers. Thanks to the generosity of RCA Secret artists and supporters, RCA students can benefit from the financial aid the College is able to provide through this unique fundraising exhibition, as all donations made to obtain postcards will support student experience at the RCA. We can't wait to see you again at the 2018 event.

  • Can I view the postcards without visiting the exhibition?

    Yes, they will be available to view on this site from 9am on Thursday 29 November, 24 hours before the RCA Secret exhibition opens for viewing day.

  • Will I get an invitation to the exhibition with a reminder of my ID number?

    We won’t be sending paper invitations again this year (in deference to our friends the trees), so make sure you register, or log in to remind yourself of your ID number, before you come to the sale.

  • When I get into the exhibition, how do I obtain my postcards?

    Each postcard will be assigned a specific number, so after viewing the postcards online or in-person, it’s best to prepare in advance. Have your ID number and list of favourite postcards ready before going to the donation desks where our students will be able to help you make your donations for your postcards. You can, of course, view them in person prior to visiting the donation desks, but our students will also show you the images of the cards on screen to confirm they are the correct ones before you make your donation.

  • Do I need to register to make a postcard donation?

    Yes, you will need to register for an ID number to obtain cards, in advance of the exhibition. Registering is easy — just click the link at the top-right of this page. If you're already registered, you can check your ID number and update your personal details by going to your account.

  • How many cards can I choose?

    We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to make a donation for the postcard they love, so as in previous years, the maximum number each supporter can obtain is four. However, new this year, supporters who have already secured their four postcards will be given the chance to come back on the final day and donate for more! Please note, additional purchases (above the four) will not be possible until the final day of the exhibition

  • Will there be a raffle this year?

    In order to give all supporters an equal opportunity to obtain postcards, we will not be running a raffle this year. Supporters will be able to secure their chosen postcards on a first come, first served basis. A queuing process will be put in place consisting of a fixed number of supporters (e.g. 50) being let in at once for a specific amount of time (e.g. 20 minutes). Supporters can choose to spend additional time viewing the exhibition before being directed to the manned desks, or proceed to the desks as soon as they enter the building. Camping is strictly prohibited again this year and queuing will only be allowed as of 8am on Saturday 1 December. Doors will open to the public at 12pm. These measures will be enforced by overnight and daytime security.

  • How will I know if a postcard in the exhibition has already been snapped up?

    Unavailable postcards will be marked with coloured dots at the exhibition. There will also be live updates on display screens. Please note that these updates will not be posted on the exhibition website.

  • Do any famous names create artworks?

    Every year RCA Secret is a veritable Who's Who of the Art and Design world! Previous contributors include: David Bowie; artists Grayson Perry, Paula Rego and Tracey Emin; inventor Sir James Dyson; film director Mike Leigh; photographer David Bailey; designer Orla Kiely; fashion designers Paul Smith, Christopher Bailey and Zandra Rhodes; Stone Roses guitarist John Squire; and the late architect Dame Zaha Hadid.

  • How do I make a selection of my favourite postcards on the website?

    The postcards will appear on this website 24 hours before viewing day. You must be registered with RCA Secret and have an ID number before you can save your favourite postcards. Registering is easy — just click the link at the top right 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. This will help you get your list of postcard numbers ready before you go to the donation desks. To view all your favourites, go to the FAVOURITES tab above the postcards. Please note that saving a card as your ‘Favorite’ is only for your reference and does not guarantee it will still be available when you are ready to make your donations.

  • Where are postcard numbers 636, 1404, 1405 and 1520?

    These postcard numbers have deliberately been left blank, to allow room for oversized postcards either side of them.

  • Will I be able to camp out overnight outside the RCA Secret Site before the opening of the exhibition?

    We regret to inform you that camping outside the RCA Secret site is strictly prohibited again this year. Security will be put in place to ensure compliance.

  • Can I make my donations by card and cash?

    Only card payments will be accepted at the exhibition, credit card payments will be subject to a £3 surcharge. We aim to prioritise RCA Secret expenditures on giving RCA students more opportunities. Having a ‘card only’ option will help us achieve this goal by limiting administrative costs and resources. We thank you for your understanding. Your generosity is what makes this event a success! Remember that all the proceeds from Stewarts RCA Secret go directly to support the student experience at RCA.

  • How do I collect my cards?

    All supporters can collect on Thursday 6 December from 4pm to 8pm. If you can't collect your cards for any reason, let us know at the cash desk and we'll arrange to post them out to you. (Fedex rates will apply.)

  • What if I change my mind after I've bought my card?

    We regret that we cannot exchange cards. Once the secret is out, the card is yours to keep!

  • Why is it called Stewarts RCA Secret?

    Law firm Stewarts have kindly supported RCA Secret for the last four years. Their support ensures that as much of the postcard sale proceeds as possible is given to support students at the Royal College of Art.