Bristol Art Gallery Events

Online Art Auction: The RWA Secret Postcard Auction

This event has now finished. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be first to hear about next year's auction or click here to see this years event.

Take Part Online

This year's Secret Postcard Auction has now come to a close, raising over £106,800. We are immensely grateful to all those involved, including artists, bidders and sponsors alike.

If you are lucky enough to be a winning bidder, please consider filling out a Gift Aid form, if you are eligible.

To find out which artist created which postcard click here.  

About the Secret Postcard Auction

As an independent charity, we need your support now more than ever. #RWASecretPostcard

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 from just £40. 

Each year, dozens of lucky buyers snap up an original piece of art for a tiny fraction of its true value, so make this year your chance to grab a bargain, while supporting the RWA (Registered Charity 1070163).

Bidding is now OPEN and will close between 9pm - 9.30pm on Thursday 25 June. See FAQ for further details.

About the artworks

This year we’ve got another amazing line-up with hundreds of artworks to bid on. Each one measures roughly 14x19cm (unless otherwise stated), is signed on the back and accompanied by a certificate of authentication. 

Since the artists remain a secret until after the auction, 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 an internationally famous artist, it might just be the bargain of the century! 

Because they're anonymous at the point of purchase, the artworks have a 'fair market value' of £40. Any amount above this is considered a donation for Gift Aid purposes. Please sign a Gift Aid form to help the RWA reclaim 25% extra.

Participating artists

Artists include Turner Prize winners including Grayson Perry, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Gilbert & George and Sir Richard Long.  

There are Royal Academicians including Norman Ackroyd, Frank Bowling, Brian Catling, Eileen Cooper, Anthony Eyton, David Nash and Emma Stibbon, plus Past President  Christopher Le Brun, and our own brilliant Academicians, such as Derek Balmer, Stewart Geddes, Ken Howard, David Inshaw, Kurt Jackson, Janette Kerr and Dawn Sidoli.

Then we have acclaimed photographers including Magnum member Martin Parr, along with Susan Derges, Peter Lavery and Jem Southam; internationally renowned painters including Glenys Cour, Maggi Hambling, Susie Hamilton, Marcelle Hanselaar, Juliette Losq, Will Maclean and Joy Wolfenden Brown, and artist-illustrators including Angelina Ballerina illustrator  Helen Craig; the always witty and brilliant Simon Drew and Sam Toft, and 2020 V&A Illustration Awards shortlisted Clive Hicks-Jenkins.

On top of this, we’ve also got world-famous animators Peter Lord and Nick Park (of Aardman fame), alongside brilliant talents better known in other fields, such as Harry Hill; Jenny Eclair; Dame Joan Collins, and art-trained engineer Sir James Dyson,  plus - uniquely - we can boast both JMW Turner and LS Lowry...well, the actor who played them both, Timothy Spall!

A full list of contributors is at the bottom of this page.

Thank you to our artists

RWA President, Fiona Robinson, writes "At the core of the RWA are its artists who treasure the RWA and wholeheartedly support the annual Postcard Auction. This year around ninety RWA Academicians have made postcards for the auction. The postcard format often takes artists out of their comfort zone, the small scale is challenging, often resulting in work of startlingly powerful intensity.  

Their commitment to only produce their best work regardless of scale is matched by a similar generosity in some of the foremost artists practising in the UK, and we are hugely grateful to everyone who has supported us by donating work."

Important information about online bidding

This year the auction will be online via an auction platform. Click here to access the auction.

By placing a bid you confirm that you agree to the conditions set out in our FAQ.

Winning items must be paid for within 72 hours of the auction ending. We reserve the right to offer the item to the second highest bidder if an item is not paid for in this time. Confirmation of which artist did each work will only be released once all payments have been received.

Bidding opens 9am on Monday 15 June and will close between 9pm - 9.30pm on Thursday 25 June. See FAQ for further details.

Subscribe for updates on the 2020 Secret Postcard Auction and be the first to know which artist did which postcard!

Your support is vital

"The Secret Postcard Auction is always a vital contributor to our finances. Due to the impact of Covid-19, and our consequent closure, it is doubly vital now. This is an extraordinarily worrying time for the RWA – an independent charity that is hugely reliant on visitor, event and Drawing School income – and for the staff and artists who rely on us. We are incredibly grateful to have received support from the Arts Council, and are of course drawing on as much Government support as we can, but the auction is really essential for us to maintain our outstanding building and continue to deliver life-enhancing creativity to communities across Bristol and beyond.

Please do join us online and have a browse and take part. It has always been such a fun event and there is no reason that needs to change this year - it's just going to be a different kind of fun. Many artists have been incredibly generous in supporting us, and as always we have a huge array of artworks to suit every taste.” - Alison Bevan, RWA Director

If you would like to make a larger donation to the RWA, please click here or contact our Head of Development, Kate Foster  

Full list of 2020 contributors:

Norman Ackroyd RA · Julia Adams · ashar · Malcolm Ashman RWA RBA · Vicki Atkinson · Lucy Austin RWA · David J Backhouse FRBS FRSA RWA · Louise Balaam RWA · Derek Balmer PPRWA · Denis Baxter RWA · Nicola Bealing RWA · Martin Bentham RWA · Francesca Berlingieri Maxwell · June Berry RWS NEAC RWA · Iain Biggs RWA · Jan Blake · Vera Boele-Kelmer RWA · Anna Boss · Olwyn Bowey RA ARCA RWA (Hon) · Frank Bowling RA · Day Bowman · Bronwen Bradshaw RWA · Martyn Brewster · Holly Brodie · John Brooks · Emma Burleigh · Rosemary Burton · Charles Burton · James Butler RA · Rebecca Cains RWA · Prof. David Carpanini RWA PPRE Hon. RWS NEAC · Beth Carter · Jill Carter · Nigel G Casseldine RWA · Prof. Brian Catling RA · Marco Cazzulini · Amanda Chambers · Nancy Chambers · Jane Chetwynd · Faith Chevannes · Rebecca Child · Caroline Chourou MRSS · Ann Christopher RA · Esme Clutterbuck · David Cobley · Elaine Collett · Dallas Collins RWA · Dame Joan Collins · Melanie Comber · Eileen Cooper RA · Jessica Cooper RWA · Sioban Coppinger FRSS · Glenys Cour · Richard Cox · Helen Craig · Louisa Crispin · Dr. P. J Crook MBE RWA · Yvonne Crossley PhD RWA · Rosalind Cuthbert RWA · Toni Davey RWA · Susan Derges RWA (Hon) · Simon Drew · Sara Dudman RWA · Deborah Duffin MRSS · Chris Dunseath RWA · Julie Dyer · Sir James Dyson OM CBE FRS RDI FREng FIEE HonFIED M.Des RCA · Sara Easby · John Eaves RWA · Jenny Eclair · Adrian Edwards · Gareth Edwards RWA · Martin Edwards · Wendy Elia RWA · Paul Emsley RWA · Carys Evans · Anthony Eyton RA RWA · Bryan Ferran PPRUA · Denise Ferran PPRUA · Terry Flaxton RWA FRSA · Susan Foord RWA · Peter Ford RE RWA · Ros Ford RWA · Jeremy Gardiner · Humberto Gatica · Stewart Geddes PPRWA · Gilbert & George RA · Sarah Gillespie RWA · Christopher Glanville RWA · Leslie Glenn Damhus RWA · Antony Gormley · Paul Gough PhD MA RWA FRSA · Jenny Graham · Leonard Green · Adam Grose · Jemma Grundon · Jemma Gunning · Frances Gynn RWA · Geraldine Haberfield · Trevor Haddrell RWA · Maggi Hambling · Susie Hamilton · Nicola Hancox · Marcelle Hanselaar · Andrew Hardwick RWA · Niki Hare · Tim Harrisson RWA · Clive Hicks-Jenkins · Harry Hill · Tina Hill · Thorie Hinds · Fiona Hingston · Simon Hitchens RWA · Robert Hobhouse · Charlotte Hodes · David Horton · Prof. Ken Howard OBE RA RWA RWS · Laura Howarth · Reece Ingram · David Inshaw RWA · Henry Jabbour · Dr Kurt Jackson RWA · Stephen Jacobson VPRWA · Luke Jerram RWA (Hon) · Helen Jones · Judith Jones · Lesley Jones · Sean Julian · Anish Kapoor RA · Janette Kerr PhD PRWA · Catherine Knight · Nicky Knowles RWA · Peter Lavery · Christopher Le Brun PPRA · Cynthia Lear RWA · Debbie Lee · Kim Lintern · Angela Lizon RWA · Christopher Lloyd · Sir Richard Long CBE RA RWA (Hon) · Peter Lord CBE · Juliette Losq · Margaret Lovell RWA FRBS · Will Maclean RSA · Danny Markey · Gail Mason · Rachel McDonnell · Abigail McDougall · Jenny McGee · Annie McGrath · Rod McRiven · George Meyrick · Stuart Mitchell · Tom Mole · Lucille Moore · Nick Moore · Sally Muir · Alice Mumford RWA · Andrew Munoz RWA · Lawrence Nash RWA · David Nash RA · Maureen Nathan · Midge Naylor RWA · Rachael Nee RWA · Kate Newington · Di Oliver · John Palmer RWA · Nick Park CBE · Martin Parr RWA (Hon) · Janine Partington · Duff Pearce · Brian Pearse · Giles Penny RWA · Grayson Perry CBE RA · Michael Porter RWA · Mark Prescott RWA · Susan Preston · Charlotte Price RWA · Simon Quadrat PPRWA · Nik Ramage RWA · Maxine Relton RWA · Carol Robertson RWA · Fiona Robinson PRWA · Rosalind Robinson RWA · Anne Rothenstein RWA · Cecilia Rouncefield · Paul Seed · Robin Sewell · Katy Shepherd · Miriam Sheppard · Christopher Shurrock RWA · Dawn Sidoli NEAC RWA · Penny Simons · Jennie Slater · Jem Southam RWA (Hon) · Timothy Spall · Paul Spooner · Laurie Steen RWA · Emma Stibbon RA RWA · Mark Stopforth · Jilly Sutton · Barrington Tabb RWA · Dr Paul Thirkell RWA PhD · Louise Thompson · Onny Thomson · Sadie Tierney · Sam Toft · Nicholas Turner RWA · Elizabeth Turrell RWA · Patricia Volk RWA · Ruth Wallace · Amanda Wallwork RWA · Andrew Walton · Janet Watson RWA · Deborah Westmancoat RWA · Sue Whale RWA · Glo Williams RWA · Melanie Williams · Lucy Willis RWA · Joy Wolfenden Brown


We are grateful for the support of St Cuthberts Mill and The Print Company.



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