About Raven Row

Raven Row is a non-profit contemporary art exhibition centre in Spitalfields. It has been constructed within eighteenth century domestic rooms, onto which 6a architects have added two contemporary galleries, and it stands on the part of Artillery Lane that was known as Raven Row until 1895.

Raven Row’s programme is intended to appeal both to a specialist audience and a broader, curious public. It is led by a desire to test art's purpose outside the market place. It exhibits diverse work of the highest quality, often by established international artists, or those from the recent past, who have somehow escaped London's attention. However, the programme will remain improvisatory and un-dogmatic, and the qualities that might constitute Raven Row’s success, its ‘cultural value’, will remain open to question. 


Raven Row is programmed by Alex Sainsbury, and funded by Glass-House Trust, of which Alex is settlor. Exhibitions are sometimes curated by Alex, often in dialogue with artists, but often by specialist curators in dialogue with Raven Row.


Raven Row is a charitable company with a board currently comprising Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain; Melanie Keen, Director of Wellcome Collection, formerly Director of Iniva; and Jenni Lomax, formerly Director of Camden Arts Centre; as well as Alex Sainsbury.




Raven Row – 56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS

is a registered charity number 1114350 and

company limited by guarantee number 5789471


Website designed by John Morgan studio
Programming and CMS by Radovan Scasascia


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56 and 58 Artillery Lane were built around 1690 on land that was previously a weapons practice ground, and in the Middle Ages the site of the monastery of St. Mary Spital, the largest hospital in Europe. In the 1750s the buildings were transformed into luxury shops in the Rococo style by Huguenot silk merchants, Protestant settlers from France. Nonconformist and politically dissenting groups as well as immigrants began settling in Spitalfields, which experienced waves of violent protest, often by journeymen weavers against wage exploitation. In 1827 no. 58 was modernised with a plain Regency front, only a few years before the weaving economy in Spitalfields collapsed and the area became impoverished. In the early twentieth century, 56 and 58 Artillery Lane housed many families who worked in the local food markets.