Word of the Day – Wednesday, July 19th



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TATE (tayt)

A network of four British art museums
Common clues:
Westminster gallery; London gallery; Atterbury Street gallery; Noted gallery; Sir Henry's gallery; Where Sargents hang; ____ Modern (new London gallery)
Crossword puzzle frequency: 4 times a year
Frequency in English language: 9202 / 86800
Video: Tate Britain

The Tate Gallery (now officially titled just "Tate") in the United Kingdom is a network of four galleries: Tate Britain (opened 1897), Tate Liverpool (1988), Tate St Ives (1993) and Tate Modern (2000), with a complementary website, Tate Online (1998). The Tate is a British national museum having a grant directly from the Treasury. The Trustees appoint the Director for a period of seven years.

Tate Britain, London

The original Tate art gallery was officially titled the National Gallery of British Art, and was situated on Millbank, Pimlico, London on the site of the former Millbank Prison. Upon his death, J.M.W. Turner had left the contents of his studio to the nation, some 2000 paintings and drawings. The National Gallery could not display the gift as Turner requested and this triggered a national debate about the creation of a gallery of British Art. Eventually Henry Tate who, as well as a sugar magnate, was also a major collector of Victorian academic art, offered to fund the building of the gallery to house British Art on the condition that the state pay for the site and revenue costs. Henry Tate also gifted the gallery his own collection. It was initially a collection solely of modern British art, concentrating on the works of modern—that is Victorian era—painters.

In 1915, Hugh Lane gifted his collection of European Modern Art to the Tate, which expanded its collection to include foreign art and continued to acquire contemporary art. In 1926 and 1937 the art dealer and patron Joseph Duveen paid for two major expansions of the gallery building. Henry Courtauld also endowed Tate with a purchase fund. By the mid 20th century it was fulfilling a dual function of showing the history of British art as well as international Modern art. In 1954 the Tate Gallery was finally separated from the National Gallery.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the visual arts department of the Arts Council of Great Britain funded and organised temporary exhibitions at the Tate Gallery including in 1966 a retrospective of Marcel Duchamp. Later the Tate began organising its own temporary exhibition programme. In 1979 with funding from a Japanese bank a large modern extension was opened that would also house larger income generating exhibitions. In 1987 the Clore Wing opened to house the Turner bequest and also provided a 200 seat auditorium. The 'Centenary Development' in 2001 provided improved access and public amenities.

It was a logical step to separate the "British" and "Modern" aspects of the collection, which are now housed in separate buildings in London. Tate Modern, in Bankside Power Station on the south side of the Thames, exhibits the national collection of modern art from 1900 to the present day. The original gallery is now called Tate Britain and is the national gallery for British art from 1500 to the present day. Modern British art can be found in both galleries.

Tate Modern is considered a major success story for the Tate's director Sir Nicholas Serota. In its first year, it was the most popular museum in the world, with 5,250,000 visitors.

Tate Online is Tate's official web site. Since its launch in 1998, the site has provided information on all four physical Tate galleries (Tate Britain, Tate St Ives, Tate Liverpool and Tate Modern) under the same domain. Tate Online helps visitors prepare and extend visits to the physical sites but also acts as a destination in its own right. Other resources include illustrated information on all works in Tate's Collection of British and Modern international art, structured and informal e-learning opportunites for all visitors, over 400 hours of archived webcast events, all articles from the magazine, TATE ETC and a series of bespoke net art commissions. BT has been the exclusive sponsor of Tate Online since 2001.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tate Gallery".