Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Detail of Picadilly premises
Premises at Picadilly 1883–1970

The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI), initially called the New Society of Painters in Water Colours, is one of the societies in the Federation of British Artists, based in the Mall Galleries in London.


In 1831 the society was founded as the New Society of Painters in Water Colours, competing with the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS), which had been founded in 1804. The founding members were William Cowen, James Fudge, Thomas Maisey (treasurer), O. F. Phillips, Joseph Powell (president), W. B. S. Taylor, and Thomas Charles Wageman. The New Society differed from the RWS in policy, by exhibiting non-members' work also. Both societies challenged the Royal Academy's refusal to accept the medium of watercolours as appropriate for serious art.

In 1839 Henry Warren (1794–1879) became president of the society and was re-elected for many years until he resigned due to failing eyesight.[1] In 1863 there was a name change to the Institute of Painters in Water Colours. In 1883 it acquired its own premises at Piccadilly, across the road from the Royal Academy. In 1885 it added "Royal" to its title by command of Queen Victoria. When the lease to the Piccadilly premises ran out in 1970, it moved to the Mall Galleries, near to Trafalgar Square.

Royal Institute Galleries[edit]

The premises at 190-195 Piccadilly hosted many exhibitions by other societies and were known simply as "Royal Institute Galleries".[2] It is now a grade II listed building.[3] Number 195 is now home to BAFTA.[4]

Prominent members[edit]

Honorary Members[edit]


  1. ^ "Obituary: Henry Warren, K.L." The Artist and Journal of Home Culture: 11. 15 January 1880.
  2. ^ London Night and Day, 1951: A Guide to Where the Other Books Don't Take You. Old House Books. 2014. ISBN 9781783660322. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Former Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours premises, now forming part of Prince's House (1265805)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Welcome to BAFTA 195 Piccadilly". BAFTA. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  5. ^ Imperial War Museum's biography of Anna Airy
  6. ^ member list, RI[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  8. ^ "Gems of Birmingham Art Gallery". Birmingham Daily Gazette. British Newspaper Archive. 1 March 1932. p. 5 col.1-3. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Linton, Sir James Dromgole". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 1063.
  10. ^ RI Members List Archived 9 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b "The members of the R.I. since 1831" (PDF).

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]