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|
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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...Until Friday September 30 2016 FreeRead more
Artist and Empire
The first room in this mesmerising exhibition about how artists represented the British Empire and how empire shaped – and continues to shape – British art is painted a tasteful duck egg blue. Really, though, it ought to be done out in expansionist red...Until Sunday April 10 2016Read more
One of the joys of a retrospective is tracing an artist’s development – their first faltering steps, perhaps, followed a gradual mastery of forms and ideas, the flow of genius, then a glorious late flowering unlocked by the don’t-give-a-fuck freedom of...Painting Until Sunday March 13 2016Read more
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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.