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The ICA plays an iconic historical and contemporary role as a think tank of tomorrow – we believe that culture not only can but must speak to the world in which we live. 

In 1947, opening our first exhibition, Sir Herbert Read – poet, art historian, anarchist and the first President of the ICA Board – described the institute as a ‘workshop’ and ‘a daring experiment’. 

In spring 1968, when we relocated to the heart of the establishment on The Mall, then-Director Michael Kustow defined the ICA as ‘a free space in which the deepest questions that concern us as individuals and society can be explored in continuity … a sustained enquiry into the roots of our present possibilities and discontents.’

Today, the ICA continues to evolve this historic proposition as an ideas-led institute: leading on conversations that respond to a world in crisis; continuing to critically challenge the status quo; defending the freedom to experiment and think aloud together in public; addressing the opportunities and pitfalls of globalisation; speaking out against re-emerging nationalism and populism; building new threads of and for solidarity towards a new sense of community; defending the values of a civic society; and resisting the forces of rampant capitalism and the ecological crisis it has produced.

We believe, as an equitable cultural organisation, that we must lead by example – and that our hybrid, interconnected approach to culture is perfectly positioned to speak to the challenges ahead by platforming ideas for a world in which we would actually like to live. 

Over the past 40 years, we have seen the dismantling of the entire public sector – today, the ICA receives just 21% of its income through public funding. We have witnessed the gentrification of cities and we have also seen the gentrification of minds. If we are to evolve as a society, we need organisations that think beyond quick returns and that are built around shared values, not just shareholder values. We need this sustained, continued and daring experiment that is the ICA.

Stefan Kalmár

Independent Ideas need Independent Funding!

Subscribe to ICA Red Membership today for just £20 a month

You’ll be supporting the ICA’s independence and getting unlimited access to all of our programmes

For a limited period, all new Red Members will receive Richard Hamilton at the ICA, 2005 (A2 4-colour offset print on 170gsm paper) by artist and ICA Board Chair Wolfgang Tillmans – and if you choose to pay for your year’s membership in advance, you’ll receive it signed.*


Red Members receive:

●  Unlimited access to all exhibitions, films, talks, concerts and performances**
●  Priority booking and free entry to all ICA keynote programmes
●  Invitation to our Annual Members’ Assembly
●  Free Annual Members’ Publication
●  10% discount on all books from the ICA Bookstore 
●  10% discount on all meals and drinks at Rochelle Canteen, ICA

By selecting one of the two Red Membership options below, you are confirming that you have reviewed all ICA Membership Terms & Conditions

Red Membership
Join for £240 / year
(Billed annually)

Red Membership
Join for £20 / month
(Billed monthly – min. 12 months)




Richard Hamilton first came to public attention in 1951 with Growth and Form, his seminal early exhibition at the ICA, he was a member of the influential Independent Group, which was based at the ICA from 1952 to 1955 and is widely thought responsible for coining the term ‘Pop Art’. Like so many of the artists with whom the ICA has worked with over the past 74 years, Richard Hamilton and his work are synonymous not only with the ICA's legacy and importance, but also with how we understand the role of culture in society. Moreover, the current ICA logo is based on a poster/catalogue he designed for an exhibition at the ICA in 1950.

For assistance, or to buy a Red Membership as a gift, please contact membership@ica.art

Log in to activate your Red Membership account and access your benefits

* Posters will be shipped when circumstances allow – please bear with us during the Covid-19 period.
** Offer applies to one ticket per film title and excludes third-party hosted events.