List of entries |  Feedback 
  More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)
Tate Gallery

(London SW1)
Collection which fulfils a double purpose, as the nation's gallery of British art and as the national museum of modern art. It was founded by Sir Henry Tate (of *Tate and Lyle), who not only paid for the building on the north bank of the Thames at Millbank but also gave his own collection of contemporary British paintings. Designed by Sidney Smith (1858–1913), the gallery opened in 1897. Until 1954 it was administered as a department of the National Gallery. In 1988 the Tate opened a major outpost of its own, the Tate Gallery in *Liverpool; and this was followed in 1993 by the Tate Gallery in *St Ives.

The British collection is unsurpassed in its field and is broadly representative of all schools, from Tudor painting onwards. It has some famous Hogarths (among them The Beggar's Opera and O the *Roast Beef of Old England), superb paintings by Stubbs and an unrivalled collection of Blake. It contains some of the best-known images of 19C British art (Millais' *Ophelia, for example, or Frith's Derby Day). But the most extraordinary holding is of Turner, for the Tate houses the collection which he left to the nation (some 300 paintings and 19,000 watercolours and drawings). His wish that a special gallery should be built for them was finally achieved when the Clore Gallery opened in 1987 – designed by James *Stirling and a gift from the *Clore Foundation.

In the modern collection international and British art is intermingled. The masters of European and American painting are here from Impressionism onwards, together with the Camden Town and Euston Road schools, the suburban mythologies of Stanley Spencer, the abstractions of Ben Nicholson and some of the most familiar images by Graham Sutherland (portrait of Somerset Maugham), Francis Bacon (Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion) and David Hockney (*Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy).

The modern collection also displays sculpture – Rodin and Giacometti alongside Epstein and Moore, Caro or Richard Long. The Tate's purchase in the early 1970s of a minimalist sculpture, the so-called 'bricks' by Carl Andre (actual title Equivalent VIII), provoked an intense debate on the nature of modern art - regularly renewed in recent years by the more controversial exhibits in the annual Turner Prize for artists under the age of fifty.

In 2000 the Tate transferred its 20th-century holdings to a spectacular new home in an adapted power station in *Bankside, giving this part of the collection a new name as Tate Modern. The Millbank building was freed to become a gallery dedicated to British art, to be known now on a similar basis as Tate Britain.

A  B-BL  BO-BX  C-CH  CI-CX  D  E  F  G  H  IJK  L  M  NO  P  QR  S-SL  SM-SX  T  UV  WXYZ