The History Of The Tate Britain In 1 Minute

Tate Britain
Tate Britain | © Tony Hisgett/WikiCommons
Stephanie Butler

A gallery dedicated to historical and contemporary British art, the Tate Britain is renowned for artists such as Turner, Millais, Rossetti and Hockney. Situated on Millbank, facing the River Thames, the gallery is on the former site of Millbank Prison and opened in 1987.
When his offering of his art collection to the National Gallery was rejected due to limited space, Sir Henry Tate began a search for a new venue for British art. Formerly known as the National Gallery of British Art but nicknamed the Tate Gallery after the founder, the venue contained various works of British art as well as Henry Tate’s collection. The gallery officially became the Tate Britain when modern artworks were transported in 2000 for the opening of the Tate Modern. It is the oldest member of the Tate gallery network and is one of the largest and most prominent museums in the country. Holding works from the 1500s to contemporary artworks, the gallery also consists of several rooms specifically focussing on one artist, these include Tracey Emin, John Latham and Sam Taylor-Wood.

© Barry Caruth/Flickr

Construction of the Tate Britain began in 1893. The front building was designed by Sidney R. J. Smith and the 1937 Dunveen Sculpture Galleries were designed by John Russell Pope, W. H. Romaine-Walker and Gilbert Jenkins. A building displaying postmodern architecture, the gallery was damaged by flooding from the Thames and bombing during the Second World War. Most of the art was safely protected at these times – during the war, a Stanley Spencer painting that was too large to move had a protective brick wall built around it. In 1955, the Tate Gallery became independent from the National Gallery, with several extensions added over following years. The building was renovated from 2012-2013, erecting nine new galleries with stronger floors to better withstand heavy sculptures, and the gallery now contains a restaurant, a café, and a room for members.
The Tate Britain hosts the annual Turner Prize exhibition, featuring artists selected by a jury chaired by the director of the gallery. The nominees are announced in May each year, with work exhibited in October, and finally a prize presented in December. Previous winners have included Grayson Perry, Gillian Wearing and Anthony Gormley. Other artists included in the gallery are Thomas Gainsborough, Lucian Freud, Peter Blake and Damien Hirst, and it is considered the most comprehensive collection of art, of its kind, across the globe.
📅 Open daily, 10AM-6PM
By Stephanie Butler

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
close-ad
Edit article