National art gallery group in the UK, with museums in London, Liverpool, and St Ives. The original Tate Gallery, endowed by the sugar merchant Henry Tate (1819-1899), opened at Millbank, London, in 1897. The museum was relaunched as Tate Britain in 2000, aiming to become a national gallery of British art - Tate's original intention. At the same time, the Tate Modern opened at the former Bankside power station in London, displaying the Tate collection of international 20th- and 21st-century art. Tate Liverpool opened in 1988, as the northern venue for the Tate collection, and Tate St Ives opened in Cornwall in 1993 to exhibit modern British art.
The original Tate Gallery housed British art from the late 16th century and international art from 1810, with unique collections of the work of J M W Turner and William Blake, and of the best collections of Pre-Raphaelite painting. The Clore Gallery extension for Turner's paintings was opened in 1987.
History of the gallery
Henry Tate financed the building of the gallery on the site of Jeremy Bentham's ‘Model’ Penitentiary, and it was opened by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). The new gallery housed the Tate gift of 65 British paintings, the collection purchased under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest, the Vernon Collection, bequeathed in 1847, and the Watts gift. Henry Tate made possible the addition, in 1899, of eight further galleries; and in 1910, through Joseph Duveen senior, the wing to house the Turner bequest of 1856 (which had been in the possession of the National Gallery) was opened. His son, Lord Duveen, gave additional galleries in 1926 and a large sculpture hall, opened in 1937.
In 1977 a new extension opened making available 50% more space for showing the permanent collections, and including a large and well-equipped conservation department.
The nucleus of the collection of modern foreign art was established by the bequest of Hugh Lane in 1915, and the endowment by Samuel Courtauld in 1923. The Tate Gallery's collections have been greatly enhanced by many other bequests and gifts, in its effort to clarify and extend its two separate functions as the National Collection of Modern Art and the National Collection of Historical British Painting.
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