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Nearest Tube: Pimlico
The Tate Gallery first opened in 1897 and it is one of the biggest and most popular art galleries in London - This is the gallery that sponsors the annual prestigious Turner Prize for modern art. |
The Tate (it is commonly referred to without the Gallery part of the name) is actually made up of several galleries and with its mixture of modern and traditional art, there should be something for everyone.
Highlights of the modern art collection include pieces by Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse, and Pollock. And highlights of the British collection include works by Constable, Blake, Hogarth and Turner.
The main Tate Gallery is home to both Britain's international modern art collection and a collection of British art through the ages. Unfortunately there is only enough room in the gallery for about a quarter of the collections to be on display at any one time.
As a result the displays are changed regularly, usually at least one a year. This makes it an exciting and innovative gallery and one that you can visit time and time again without getting bored, but if there is a particular painting that you want to see you need to check in advance if it is on display.
The Clore Gallery is next to the main building and this is where most of Turner's works are housed. There are hundreds of works in the collection so you probably won't get to see them all. This is one of the most popular sections of the Tate, so expect crowds. And a third gallery called Art Now shows four or five exhibitions of works by young contemporary artists each year.
Across the river, in what used to be the Bankside Power Station, a new gallery is currently under construction (due to open in the year 2000). This is going to house the modern art collection and will be called the Tate Gallery of Modern Art, whilst the building at Millbank will be left to house the British collection, becoming the Tate Gallery of British Art.
There are also two regional galleries that belong to the Tate Gallery - one in Liverpool and one in St Ives in Cornwall.
The Tate Gallery is open daily, but times vary so it is best to check in advance for opening hours. Entry to the main gallery is free, but there is usually an admission charge for special exhibitions. There is a café and a restaurant available for refreshments.
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