The David Roberts Art Foundation

Top 30 things in Camden: The David Roberts Art Foundation

DRAF, The David Roberts Art Foundation, is an independent, non-profit organization and registered charity located in the heart of Camden, currently housed in a 19th-century converted furniture factory with a 500 square metre exhibition space on the ground floor.

Originally founded by its namesake David Roberts in 2007 and with curator Vincent Honoré at its wheel, DRAF is a space and platform for artistic development and exposure. Its focus on interdisciplinary collaboration between curators, writers and artists enables DRAF to “create and encourage multiple scenarios for critical thinking and knowledge production.” Its core values are STUDYING/ DISCUSSING/ FOSTERING/ CHALLENGING/ INVOLVING/ INVITING and, as such, DRAF is not focused on a single field, medium, generation or geographical area but rather calls itself a “museum of ideas” rather than a museum of objects. 

Names like Jason Dodge, Nina Beier and Marie Lund and Damien Roach have held solo exhibitions at DRAF, whose rotating exhibition programme exists parallel to its more permanent displays. The permanent collection is made up of over 2.000 works and started in the mid 90’s. DRAF refers to it as “a collection of collections,” which outlines its evolving and conceptual nature. Some of these, as well as commissioned works, are visible throughout the building as part of the ARTWORKS IN RESIDENCE programme: objects that are displayed as part of a long-term, parallel exhibition which follows its own rules. 

The permanent collection is made up of over 2.000 works and started in the mid 90’s. DRAF refers to it as “a collection of collections,” which outlines its evolving and conceptual nature. Some of these, as well as commissioned works, are visible throughout the building as part of the Artworks in Residence programme: objects that are displayed as part of a long-term, parallel exhibition which follows its own rules. 

Asides from this core collection, DRAF produces solo and group exhibitions, which often have a performative character. Names like Jason Dodge, Nina Beier and Marie Lund and Damien Roach have held solo exhibitions at DRAF, whose rotating exhibition programme exists parallel to its more permanent displays. And, not unimportantly, DRAF’s Curator Series commissions research-based projects in which the curator is seen as an author. DRAF’s dedicated performance space, DRAF Studio, hosts live events, performances, happenings and discussions. Each year, during Frieze week, DRAF hosts an evening of performances. 


All exhibitions and events are free.

Installation view of Streams of Warm Impermanence  Photo Tim Bowditch_9
Installation view of Streams of Warm Impermanence at DRAF (c) Photo Tim Bowditch