The Royal Academy of Arts, founded in 1768, is the oldest fine arts institution in Britain. Situated in the heart of London's West End on Piccadilly, it is universally renowned for hosting some of the capital's finest temporary and touring exhibitions. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate. The Academy has held an annual Summer Exhibition of works for sale since its formation and its first loan exhibition was held in 1870. The Academy now enjoys an unrivalled reputation as a venue for exhibitions of international importance.