The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE) is one of the world’s premier printmaking organisations. All of the members of the Society are practising professional printmakers who have been elected after a rigorous selection by a panel of their peers. From our home in Bankside Gallery on the South Bank of the Thames next to Tate Modern we hold regular exhibitions showcasing the best in contemporary printmaking.
As an educational charity dedicated to the encouragement and promotion of printmaking, the RE runs an ongoing programme of exhibitions, talks, demonstrations and other activities aimed at raising public awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of printmaking. It gives encouragement, exposure and support to new and established printmakers through open submission exhibitions and awards. Cash prizes and guest membership are given on an annual basis to outstanding young or recently graduated printmakers.
The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers was originally known as the Society of Painter-Etchers and was founded by Francis Seymour Haden in 1880 in reaction to the Royal Academy of Arts’ reluctance to exhibit etchings and engravings. We received our Royal Charter from Queen Victoria in 1888 and became the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers. Although we changed our name in 1991 to embrace a broader range of printmaking practices, we have retained the abbreviation RE to this day as both our identity and the qualifying letters that follow an elected member’s name.
We are extremely proud of our history with eminent past members including Graham Sutherland, Stanley William Hayter, Edward Bawden, Julian Trevelyan and Michael Rothenstein.
However, printmaking is a dynamic and protean pursuit and the current membership contains some of the most innovative and creative artists working in every print-based medium imaginable.