Monday, August 14, 2006

Another secret sale

This one is in Cincinnati for those readers of this blog from across the pond. Looks like a good cause as well. Click on Artworks Cincinnati for more details.

RCA secret 2006 announced

The RCA Secret sale has been announced by the RCA. Click here to go to the original article (or it is reproduced below).

Two points to note. Firstly they have
not said that camping in banned, merely that it is discouraged. This
is the same sort of language that was being used last year.

Secondly the sale date has been moved to a Saturday. If they wanted to
reduce the amount of queueing etc it seems to me that this is not the
way to do it. The queue was kept shorter because a lot of people
couldn't make the sale due to work commitments. That is now not the

Personally I see no reason why the RCA shouldn't make as much money
from the sale as possible and it therefore makes sense to move it to
Saturday. It does mean the queue will be longer though...

Also what is the point of the second day of the sale? With the first
day of the sale being Saturday surely nothing will be left by Sunday.
I have been there at 6pm on a Friday before and there is hardly
anything left.



RCA Secret was initiated in 1994 and has become an annual exhibition and sale of postcard sized works of art. Each year hundreds of artists including established and up and coming names, create unique pieces of art which the public can buy for just £35 each. As in previous years all monies raised go to the Royal College of Art Fine Art Student Award Fund, which helps support emerging artists during their time at the College. To date, sales of postcards have raised over £650,000 for the Fund.

Of course it’s not quite that simple. Each artwork has a number but remains a secret until the buyer has handed over their money and the artist's signature is revealed on the back.

Support for RCA Secret has grown over the years and the list of artists who have contributed to the event reads like a Who’s Who of the artworld – from Damien Hirst, Bill Viola and Tracey Emin to David Hockney, Julian Opie and Paula Rego. And the best thing of all is, even if you don’t spot a postcard by a well-known name this time, you could go home with a star of the future. Many of the contributing artists are current students or recent graduates of the Royal College of Art along with other leading art colleges, destined to go on to big things. The only piece of advice we offer is: choose something because you like it. Anything else is just a bonus.

Here are some frequently asked questions which may help:

When can I view the postcards?
Postcards can be viewed at the Royal College of Art on the following dates:
17-23 November: 10am-6pm daily and 24 November: 10am-8pm

Potential buyers will also be able to view all the postcards on-line from the first day of the show at This means that buyers living outside London only need to make one visit on the sale days.

When can I buy the postcards?
Postcards can only be bought on the allocated sale days in person. The sale days this year are:
Saturday 25 November: 8am to 8pm
Sunday 26 November: 10am to 4pm

Postcards are sold strictly on a first come, first served basis, they can't be reserved in advance and there are no sealed bids or auctions.
A maximum of 4 cards can be bought per person.

How do I become a buyer?
Potential buyers need to pre-register before the sale days. This is to make the sales process much quicker. You can register in person during the viewing days or by email: You will be given a registration number which you must bring with you on sale day.

What methods of payment do you accept?
Cash, cheque, debit and credit card.

What if I don't get the cards I have picked?
It is always a good idea to have alternative numbers of cards in case your first choices have been bought. Please keep a note of the numbers you would like to buy.

How long will I have to queue on sale day?
RCA Secret is very popular and the first day will be very busy. Try and come down an hour or two before the doors open at 8am. Please do not be tempted to camp outside the building as the College cannot take any responsibility for your health and safety. As it will be November please wear warm clothes or bring a blanket. Once the doors open the process moves fairly quickly and the queue usually subsides by about 12 noon.

Do all the best cards go in the first few hours?
Alot of the cards do sell quickly in the morning but many cards are usually still available in the afternoon and the next day. Please don't be discouraged if you can only come in the afternoon - you may be surprised how many big names are left!

Can I return the cards if I don't like them?
We will only make a refund if there has been a genuine mistake made and you have received incorrectly numbered cards.

Good luck!