1 May 2002
The Hyman Kreitman Research Centre opens to readers on Wednesday 1 May at Tate Britain, funded with a £2.2 million donation by the Kreitman Foundation. Fulfilling Tate’s longstanding aim of increased public access to its outstanding research resources, the new centre will enable Tate’s existing library and archive collections to be brought together for the first time and made far more accessible to researchers.
The new centre is designed by John Miller + Partners, the architects of Tate Britain’s Centenary Development. It includes two new reading rooms with more than 40 places for readers and facilities for access to a wide range of electronic and non-book media.
The archive contains such treasures as Turner’s palette, Paul Nash’s paintbox (complete with jam jar for water and dirty paint rags), Sickert’s painting overalls, Naum Gabo’s Mobius circle made from the rind of a gourd, and the actual ribbon worn by Degas’ celebrated sculpture, Little Dancer. These unique objects are part of a collection of over a million archival items ranging from manuscripts, letters, diaries, sketchbooks, drawings and maquettes to photographs, audio-visual material, and press cuttings. Major groups of papers include those relating to David Bomberg, Kenneth Clark, Barbara Hepworth, John & Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Stanley Spencer, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Charleston Papers and the Barbara Reise papers.
The Library is devoted to British fine art from the Renaissance to the present day, and international modern art. It is the pre-eminent UK collection in the field of contemporary art with collections of over 120,000 art exhibition catalogues and special collections such as Artists’ Bookworks.
Tate Director, Nicholas Serota said: ‘Research and scholarship lie at the heart of any museum. This scheme will bring together Library and Archive materials and make them more widely available in new reading rooms designed by John Miller + Partners. We are enormously grateful to the Kreitman family for providing this cornerstone in Tate’s work’.