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The origins of the Royal Watercolour Society can be traced back to the formation of the Society of Painters in Water Colours in 1804. On 30 November 1804 the first meeting of ĎThe Society Associated for the purpose of Establishing an Annual Exhibition of Paintings in Water Coloursí was held at The Stratford Coffee House on Oxford Street, London. Founder Members include Samuel Shelley, William Frederick Wells, William Sawrey Gilpin and brothers, John and Cornelius Varley. In 1823 the Society was offered a lease at 6 Pall Mall East and remained there until 1938 when the lease expired but returned in 2020 when they signed a new lease. In 1881 Queen Victoria granted the Society a Royal Charter, and agreed to sign the certificates that each RWS Member receives on election to the Society. The certificates have continued to be signed by the Monarch up until the death of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022. Today, the RWS is an artist-led society made up of an elected Membership who are amongst the finest practitioners in contemporary water-based painting. Artists work in a variety of water media including gouache, acrylic, pen & ink, pigment, collage, mixed media as well as traditional watercolour. The aim of the Society is to promote, by example and education, the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of these exciting media.