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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Some paintings are like celebrities. You’ve read about them, studied them from afar, obsessed over them for years, but never actually seen them in the flesh. So when you actually come face to face with one, you get all wobbly-kneed and fluttery-eyed....Painting Until Monday May 29 2017
In 1917, Paul Nash wrote a letter to his wife from Ypres: ‘I am no longer an artist interested and curious, I am a messenger who will bring back word from the men who are fighting to those who want the war to go on for ever.’ Nash had returned to the...Painting Until Sunday March 5 2017
Rachel Maclean: Wot U :-) About?
Admit it, you’re addicted to your phone. You’re addicted to social media, to likes, to notifications, to retweets – it’s okay, we all are. And young Scottish artist Rachel Maclean’s green-screened video installation is here to smash us out of our click-reverie....Until Sunday April 2 2017 Free
Things to do
Festival No.6 at Tate Britain
Festival No.6 is putting away its tent poles and travelling from Portmeirion to Tate Britain for a one-night music and culture extravaganza. It's set to be a Tate Lates like no other: a mini-fest with a headline performance from British indie band Blossoms, poetry...Late openings Friday March 3 2017
Queer British Art
2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. This show charts the preceding century: a hundred years of queer artists either making deeply personal work (about lives led in necessary secrecy) or avowedly...Wednesday April 5 2017 - Sunday October 1 2017
Twenty-three years down the line, it's easy to forget how Rachel Whiteread shocked audiences with her Turner Prize entry 'House': the concrete cast of the interior of a Victorian house in Mile End. But it won her the prize – she was the first woman to...Tuesday September 12 2017 - Sunday February 4 2018
The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London
This show looks at an often overlooked chapter in the impressionist story: when the Franco-Prussion war broke out in 1870, many French artists fled across the Channel to London. Here, they met a wave of enthusiastic contemporaries and patrons, and a new...Thursday November 2 2017 - Sunday April 29 2018
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Great gallery, I prefer this to the tate modern. The permanent collection is much more interesting and the building is also worth a visit. Look out of the late at the tate events! All for free too.
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.