Tate Modern gets all the attention, but the original Tate Gallery, founded by sugar magnate Sir Henry Tate, has a broader and more inclusive brief. Housed in a stately Portland stone building on the riverside, Tate Britain is second only to the National Gallery when it comes to British art. It’s also looking to steal back a bit of the limelight from its starrier sibling with a 20-year redevelopment plan called the Millbank Project: conserving the building’s original features, upgrading the galleries, opening new spaces to the public and adding a new café. The art here is exceptional. The historical collection includes work by Hogarth, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Constable (who gets three rooms) and Turner (in the superb Clore Gallery). Many contemporary works were shifter to the other Tate when it opened, but Stanley Spencer, Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon are all well represented, and Art Now installations showcase up-and-coming British artists. Temporary exhibitions include headline-hungry blockbusters and the annual controversy-courting Turner Prize exhibition (October-January). The gallery has a good restaurant and an exemplary gift shop.
|Venue name:||Tate Britain||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Daily 10am-6pm (last admission for special exhibitions 5.15pm)|
|Price:||Free (permanent collection); admission charge applies for some temporary exhibitions|
Pick a dateto
Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World
The last time the Tate held a Barbara Hepworth retrospective, the artist herself had a hand in organising the show. That was in 1968, seven years before Britain’s first lady of modernist sculpture died in a fire in her St Ives studio – a fatal combination...Sculpture Until Sunday October 25 2015Read more
Christina Mackie: Tate Britain Commission 2015
Fascinated by pigments and colour, the London-based artist will create a three-part installation in the expansive neo-classical space. Long silk nets hang from the ceiling, their tails dipped in coloured dyes so they become slowly stained by the rainbow...Until Sunday October 18 2015 FreeRead more
Karen Knorr: BP Spotlight
The politics of representation was a hot topic in the 1970s and ’80s. Culture wars were in full swing and identity (gender, race, class, you name it) was up for grabs. Photographer Karen Knorr must have thought just that when she set out to capture, in...Photography Sunday October 4 2015Read more
Considered Britain’s greatest living painter, the 83-year old artist has lived and worked in north London for the last sixty years, painting every day of the year but one. In this survey of 70 paintings, which span over half a century, you can experience...Painting Friday October 9 2015 - Sunday March 13 2016Read more
Art and Alcohol
Once it was healthier to drink gin rather than the water in London. Thankfully – or not – those days are long gone, but the act, or should that be the art of drinking, remains a constant source of creative inspiration. This BP spotlight display curated...Monday November 16 2015 - Friday September 30 2016 FreeRead more
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Loved Turner and Bacon paintings and many more. Beautiful building and free admission with option for donation which makes the Tate accessible to everyone visiting London. Great gift shop.
Really interesting! There is a film piece by Douglas Gordon called 'Play Dead; Real Time' which I could honestly watch for hours.