Tate Britain houses the national collection of British art from 1500 to the present day, and reveals the full richness of British visual culture in a dynamic series of displays and exhibitions.
Tate’s collection of British art, the world’s largest, contains iconic masterpieces by artists including Van Dyck, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Blake, Constable, the Pre-Raphaelites, Sargent, Sickert, Moore, Hepworth, Bacon, Hockney and Gilbert and George, as well as the extraordinary JMW Turner Bequest.
The displays follow a chronological sweep from the early sixteenth century to the early twenty-first. Displays are arranged into two broad chronological blocks corresponding to the division of the gallery by the Duveen Sculpture galleries: 1500-1900 on the west side and 1900 to the present on the east. Rooms examining art historical themes are interspersed with rooms devoted to a single major artist. The Duveen Galleries continue to be used for changing displays and special exhibitions of sculpture.
TATE BRITAIN HISTORY
Tate Britain, situated on Millbank in London, was formerly known as the Tate Gallery. The extraordinary generosity of Sir Henry Tate allowed the British government to commission the gallery in 1894 and it opened as the national gallery of British art in 1897, but became popularly known as the Tate Gallery. In 1899 nine galleries were added and in 1909 a further extension was developed to house the Turner Collection. In 1917, Tate was given the responsibility to form the national collection of international modern art. New galleries for this collection were opened in 1926. 1937 saw the creation for the great central Duveen sculpture galleries. A new north-east extension was added in 1979. In 1987 the Turner Collection was re-housed in the purpose-built Clore Gallery.
In December 1992, the Tate Trustees announced their intention to divide displays of the Collection in London between two sites: a gallery for international modern and contemporary art, later named Tate Modern, and a gallery to be devoted to British art from 1500 to the present day, occupying the whole of Tate’s building at Millbank, later named Tate Britain. On 24 March 2000 Tate Britain opened to the public and remained fully operational as parts of the building were closed off for works on the Centenary Development, which added ten new galleries, a new entrance and improved visitor facilities to the gallery. The Centenary Development opened to the public on 1 November 2001, allowing Tate Britain to fulfil its founder’s original vision more comprehensively than ever before.
Free, with charges for some temporary exhibitions and events.
Admission to Tate Britain is free, except for special exhibitions.
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