The Tate Gallery is actually now four art museums in one and started a trend in Great Britain to have branch collections in other parts of London or in other British cities or locations.
Tate Britain (The original) on the river just down from the Houses of Parliament. (nearest Underground Pimlico). The gallery deals with British art and was founded in 1897 to house British Art from the National Gallery. It was renamed the Tate Gallery in 1932 after modern art was added and named after Henry Tate of the “Tate and Lyle” sugar empire who had amassed the original collection.
Tate Modern is also on the river but downstream on the opposite bank to St Paul’s Cathedral and linked by the Millennium Foot Bridge. The gallery is housed in the former Bankside power station and as the name implies has a major collection of modern art with a series of exhibitions. The main galleries are free but there will be a charge for the special exhibitions. Many are so popular that advanced online booking is recommended.
Tate Liverpool has become a focus for creativity in the restored Albert Dock area of Liverpool’s riverside. It houses major touring exhibitions either from Tate Collections or from other galleries.
Tate St Ives is housed in a futuristic building overlooking the sea and is dedicated to the St Ives school of artists ancient and modern who have made St Ives’s name, such as Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth.
Tate’s Mission Statement gives a pretty clear idea of what they are about.
“Tate’s mission is drawn from the 1992 Museums and Galleries Act, and is to increase public knowledge, understanding and appreciation of British art from the sixteenth century to the present day and of international modern and contemporary art”.
Further information can be found at www.tate.org.uk
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