Thank you to everyone - artists and bidders - for your fantastic support at the 2017 Secret Postcard Auction.  Once again, the auction bids totalled over £30,000, which is essential funding to enable us to maintain and utilise our beautiful building, and to inspire and nurture creativity for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Staff are frantically processing all bids and we'll let successful bidders know as soon as we can: please bear with us!


The ever-popular Secret Postcard Auction is back for another year. This hotly anticipated event offers the chance to purchase unique works of art by leading figures from the art and cultural world, including one of this year's Turner Prize nominees, Hurvin Anderson, alongside many other famous names and great talents. All the artworks are on now display at the RWA (until 3pm on Thursday 25 May) and on our RWA Flickr account here and are open for bidding.  

Contributors include many leading artists such as Norman Ackroyd, Edward Allington, Glen Baxter, Glenys Cour, Jeremy Deller, Simon Drew, Sir James Dyson, Gilbert & George, Maggi Hambling, Ken Howard, Kurt Jackson, Andrew Lanyon, Richard Long, Peter Lord, Will Maclean, Alice Maher, Alison Wilding and Daphne Wright, among many others. A full list of all contributing artists is below.

Each artwork measures c.7½" x 5½" (19 x 14 cm) and are signed on the back, so buyers either have to guess who the big name artists are or just buy what they like. Bidding on each work starts at just £40, which is a very reasonable price for a unique piece of art, and if it turns out to be by a Turner Prize winner or other leading artist, it might just be the bargain of the century!

The final, exciting auction will take place at the RWA on Thursday 25 May - tickets are selling out fast, so grab yours soon!

So how does it work?

The Secret Postcards - around 300 original pieces of art by the artists listed below – are all on display at the RWA and open for bidding. When bids are placed, they are displayed alongside the relevant card - and please note that bids are placed at the maximum level, so if you bid £100, that's how much it will say on the bid label. A PDF list of items with bids to date is at the bottom of this page. 

Visitors can place advance bids on the postcards in person at the Gallery or  email until 3pm on Thursday 25 May, or by phone until 5pm on Wednesday 24 May.  We regret that we are unable to offer internet bidding.

Ten of the postcards are selected to go into a live auction, conducted by Andrew Morgan.  These are not necessarily the ten biggest names or those with the highest bids, but are those that have had the most interest in them beforehand.  Anyone who has placed a bid on any of these ten cards will be contacted to let them know that they're amongst the live lots and if they are unable to attend, we can offer a telephone bidding service.

All of the remaining cards will then be sold by silent (but public) bids during the evening: each increased bid is displayed alongside its card so that everyone can see how much more they need to bid in order to win their chosen artwork - bids start at £40 and must be in minimum £5 increments. There is no limit on how many bids each postcard can receive or how many each bidder can make, so if someone outbids you, feel free to increase your bid to outbid them!

We do not publicise the winning bid amounts for each card, but the week after the auction the Flickr page will be updated to show the artists' names, so you can see if you were right in your hunch about whose was whose!

All proceeds raised by the sale of the cards will go towards supporting the RWA (Registered Charity 1070163).  Last year’s auction raised over £30000, making a huge contribution to our ability to support and encourage life-enhancing engagement with art for people of all backgrounds and ages.

We are grateful for the support of St Cuthbert's Mill and The Print Co for the 'postcards', to Hollis Morgan Estate Agents and Auctioneers, to Pinkmans, DBM Wines and Lovely Drinks for supplying the refreshments and to all the contributing artists for their generosity in supporting our work.

The following artists have contributed original artworks to the 2017 Secret Postcard Auction:

Norman Ackroyd RA · Julia Adams · Prof Edward Allington · Peter Amos RWA · Hurvin Anderson · Rachel Ara RWA · Diana Armfield RA RWS Hon.NEAC Hon (RT) RCA RWA · ashar · Malcolm Ashman RWA RBA ROI · Lucy Austin RWA · Dave Bain · Louise Balaam RWA · Derek Balmer PPRWA · Hannah Battershell · Glen Baxter · Denis Baxter RWA · James Beale RE RWA · Martin Bentham RWA · Francesca Berlingieri Maxwell · June Berry RWS NEAC RWA · Vince Bevan · Iain Biggs RWA · Clive Blackmore RWA · Vera Boele-Keimer RWA · Olwyn Bowey RA RWA (Hon) · Martyn Brewster · Holly Brodie · Angie Broome · Charles Burton · Rosemary Burton · Susan Caines RWA · Gerald Cains RWA · Rebecca Cains RWA · Neil Canning · Jill Carter · Nigel G Casseldine RWA · Trevor Challinor RWA · Neil Coleman · Mary Collett · Dallas Collins · Glenys Cour · Dr. P. J Crook MBE, RWA · Yvonne Crossley PhD RWA · Anthony Curtis Dip.A.E RWA Hon BSc · Rosalind Cuthbert RWA · Toni Davey RWA · Rhiannon Davies · Patrick Daw MA (RCA) RWA · Kate Delhanty RWA · Jeremy Deller · Simon Drew · Sara Dudman RWA · Chris Dunseath RWA · Sir James Dyson OM CBE FRS RDI FREng FIEE HonFIED M.Des RCA · John Eaves RWA · Jenny Eclair · Gareth Edwards RWA · Karen Edwards RWA · Terry Flaxton RWA · Susan Foord RWA · Peter Ford RE RWA · Ros Ford RWA · Anthony Garratt · Stewart Geddes PRWA · Gilbert & George · Sarah Gillespie RWA · Christopher Glanville RWA · Leslie Glenn-Damhus · Ben Goodman · Jemma Grundon · Stacey Guthrie · Trevor Haddrell RWA · Janet Haigh · Maggi Hambling · Nicola Hancox · Andrew Hardwick RWA · Niki Hare · Betty Harrison · Tim Harrisson RWA · Gail Harvey · Aisling Hedgecock · Clive Hicks-Jenkins · Tina Hill · Thorie Hinds · Fiona Hingston · Michael Hitchings RWA · Terri Hogan · Ashley Hold RWA · Douglas Holloway RWA · Prof. Ken Howard RA RWS RWA PPNEAC · Laura Howarth · John Huggins RWA (Hon) · Moira Huntly PPS RI RWA RSMA · Robert Hurdle RWA (Hon) · David Inshaw RWA · Kurt Jackson RWA · Stephen Jacobson VPRWA · Robert Jennison NDD ATD RWA · Janette Kerr PhD PPRWA · Alan Kingsbury RWA · Catherine Knight · Jason Lane RWA · Andrew Lanyon · Cynthia Lear RWA · Simon Ledson · Kim Lintern · Angela Lizon · Christopher Lloyd · Denny Long RWA · Richard Long CBE RA RWA (Hon) · Peter Lord CBE · Will Maclean RSA · Alice Maher · Danny Markey · Denis Masi · Gail Mason · Robert Mason · Bridget McCrum RWA · Jock McFadyen RA · Jenny McGee · Sally Muir · Alice Mumford RWA · Neil Murison RWA (Hon) · Lawrence Nash RWA · Midge Naylor RWA · Nina Ogden · Dione Page RWA · John Palmer RWA · David Parfitt RI · Brian Pearse · Giles Penny RWA · Michael Porter RWA · Sandra Porter RWA · Mark Prescott RWA · Charlotte Price · Simon Quadrat PPRWA · Peter Randall-Page RA RSA RBS RWA · Maxine Relton RWA · Fiona Robinson RWA · Rosalind Robinson · Gill Rocca · Mary Rouncefield · Dion Salvador Lloyd · Terry Setch RA RWA · John Shakespeare RBSA · Christopher Shurrock RWA · Dawn Sidoli NEAC RWA · Jennie Slater · Paul Spooner · Alfred Stockham RWA (Hon) · Barrington Tabb RWA · John Taulbut RWA · Paul Thirkell RWA · Louise Thompson · Onny Thomson · Sheila Tolley RWA · Nicholas Turner RWA · Elizabeth Turrell RWA · George Tute RWA (Hon) · Fernando Velazquez · Ruth Wallace · Gordon Ward RWA · Janet Watson RWA · Deborah Westmancoat · Alison Wilding RA · Glo Williams RWA · Melanie Williams · Lucy Willis RWA · Daphne Wright · Lisa Wright RWA · 



Duration: 7-9 pm