Research

We are committed to generating innovative, high quality research and to sharing our expertise with diverse audiences

a woman sits and looks at colour swatches

Examination of twentieth century Artists’ Oil Colour swatches by Winsor & Newton as part of Cleaning Modern Oil Paints (2015–18), a collaborative European research project
Photo © Tate

a woman speaks into a microphone

May Adadol Ingawanij speaking at ‘Transnationalism and its Limits: Mobility and Contemporaneity in Thai Art’, a seminar organised by the Tate Research Centre: Asia at Tate Modern, 22 June 2017.
Photo © Tate

upshot of a building showing text on the ceiling

A view of part of Douglas Gordon’s site-specific installation, Pretty much every word written spoken heard overheard from 1989 in Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries, 2010. It was commissioned through the research project The Sublime Object: Nature, Art and Language (2007–10), which was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Photo © Tate

a woman stands in front of a Rothko painting

Talk given about the conservation treatment of Mark Rothko’s Seagram Murals, Tate Modern, 14 June 2017, as part of NANORESTART (2015–18), a collaborative European research project.
Photo © Tate

installation view showing a sculpture in the middle of a gallery space and artworks on the wall

Installation view of Reconfiguring American Abstraction, display at Tate Liverpool related to Refiguring American Art (2014–17), a Tate Research initiative supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Photo © Tate

Research underpins much of what we do at Tate, from staging exhibitions to acquiring artworks for the collection and finding out how best to care for them, as well as supporting our visitors to engage and learn. It involves a range of subject disciplines, including art history, history, conservation and conservation science, collection management, education and museology, as well as a variety of research methods and outputs. Undertaken across the organisation, research helps us address practical problems and allows us to contribute to broader debates.

Art historical research

Tate’s acquisition, display and exhibition programmes require in-depth, rigorous and at times creative research. Our aim is to deepen existing knowledge and generate fresh insights in established fields, while also creating knowledge about artists and artworks new to the collection. Beyond this ongoing work, we have a number of major projects that aim to make significant contributions to scholarly understanding in their areas. Frequently undertaken in collaboration with academic partners, they may involve workshops and conferences, and lead to peer-reviewed online publications.

Discover our research publications

Collection care research

Collection care research addresses the need for new knowledge to explore challenges related to the conservation, management and care of Tate’s expanding collection. Responding to the changing nature of art as well as the needs of the collection, our work encompasses scientific and humanities-based research. It aims to develop innovative approaches and new tools that emerge out of, and impact, practice. It also seeks to further knowledge about works of art in Tate’s collection, their materials and their making. Our research often involves collaboration with artists, as well as partnerships with both national and international organisations, a range of academic disciplines and different areas of professional practice.

Find out more about collection care research

Learning research

Research and evaluation are central to our teaching and learning activity, as we aim to show how gallery education practice can be understood and experienced as research-led activity. As well as framing our practice as a form of research, we undertake projects into learning methods techniques and practices. Drawing on a range of disciplines, learning research frequently involves collaboration with artists, researchers and academic partners. Aiming to develop and share new knowledge to improve practice and build theory, we share our research through workshops, conferences and publications.

Explore the Tate Research Centre: Learning

Research Development department

The Research Development department acts as a hub, collaborating with colleagues to develop new research initiatives in different fields and liaising with academic partners. It is responsible for various major research projects and for online scholarly publishing, including Tate Papers, summaries and In Focus projects on individual artworks in Tate’s collection. The department hosts Tate’s Research Fellows and doctoral students.

Download Tate’s Code of Good Practice in Research [PDF, 241Kb]

Find out about research opportunities and positions at Tate

To contact the Research Development Department, please email research@tate.org.uk. For news of research at Tate on Twitter, follow @TateResearch.

Research facilities

A leading research institution, Tate makes freely available to the public its many research resources and facilities.

Prints and Drawings Rooms

Anyone can access artworks on paper from Tate’s collection, including historic and modern prints, drawings and sketchbooks

Library

Discover Tate Library's unique collections of books, journals, audio-visual material, press cuttings and more

Archive

Tate Archive contains items related to artists, art world figures and art organisations in Britain from 1900 to the present

Public Records

Tate’s Public Records document its activities throughout its history, including exhibitions, acquisitions, development and expansion