Tate Liverpool has been celebrating in style today as it welcomed Lilian Dunlop (from Manchester) and her granddaughter Gemma Bantham (from Stockport) as the ten millionth visitors. The Gallery opened on 23 May 1988 and has consistently welcomed around 600,000 visitors a year - making it the most visited modern art gallery in the UK, outside of London. Visitor numbers reflect the continued success of Tate, with the four Tate galleries receiving more visitors than any other UK cultural attraction.
The ten millionth visitor was greeted by Director Christoph Grunenberg and Executive Director Andrea Nixon. They have been able to see all that Tate Liverpool has to offer for themselves with a free bag of gifts from the Tate Shop, a free meal in the Café and a special guided tour of the galleries with Information Assistant Bob Gallie. In 2004 Bob was winner of the Academy Ambassador Awards for Excellence in Customer Care (Arts & Culture Staff), so he is be best placed to give the ten millionth visitor the VIP treatment.
Speaking of this special occasion, Director Christoph Grunenberg said:
Welcoming the ten millionth visitor is a proud moment for the Gallery. We are delighted to be providing the quality of exhibitions, and levels of service, that visitors come back to time and time again. Tate Liverpool is now confirming its position as a world-class gallery for the City of Liverpool, and with our twentieth birthday and the European Capital of Culture celebrations coming up in 2008, theres a lot more to look forward to in the future.
An International Gallery for the City of Liverpool
Tate Liverpool is more than just a Gallery with an international reputation, it is also a Gallery at the cultural heart of Liverpool. 10% of visitors travel from overseas, and Tate Liverpools first ever visitor travelled from Texas, USA. Nevertheless, over 30% of visitors are local residents living in the Merseyside area. Since the 1980s Liverpool has undergone dramatic regeneration; Tate Liverpool has been a key part of the redevelopment of the Albert Dock, attracting visitors to Englands largest Grade 1 listed building project and a World Heritage Site.
Best in Show
Since Tate Liverpool opened it has confirmed its position as a pre-eminent visual arts venue that enables visitors to see world-class modern and contemporary art here in Liverpool. As a result of this, Tate Liverpool has shown a commitment to making the visitor experience a special one, broadening access to the Tates National Collection of Modern Art, as well as presenting the very best international work from a range of artists, including major exhibitions Shopping: A Century of Art and Consumer Culture (2002-03) and Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era (2005).
Finding Out More and Getting Involved
Ever since the first visitor passed through the doors, Tate Liverpool has worked to help visitors learn more about the works on display. Tate Liverpool was the first Gallery in the UK to pioneer the use of Information Assistants. The staff are uniquely able to answer questions about the art works on display - a role now widely adopted in museums and galleries across the country. Similarly, visitors can find out more about the work thanks to a range of specially-designed events and activities including Café Sci Art, Lunchtime Lectures and Single in the City.
Art for All
At Tate Liverpool youre never too young to start appreciating art, a fact borne out by the Gallerys family-friendly facilities and family-focused Sunday events. Each week families with children aged 5-12 can take part in the Art Quest or Great Art Adventure to explore modern art in a fun way. Young people aged 16-23 can get involved with the Gallery through Young Tate: a programme of events to promote learning and skills development. School and community groups also make up a large proportion of visitors, thanks to the Interpretation and Education Department, whose groundbreaking work has become a model of best practice for galleries and museums. In 2005 over 20,000 young people paid a visit to Tate Liverpool as part of a School, College or Higher Education Group.
Tate Liverpool: An Inspired Day Out
In addition to exhibitions and events Tate Liverpool provides excellent facilities, and has even won an award for its toilets! Tate Liverpool is a fully accessible venue that in 2004 won the Merseyside Tourism Access for All Award. The Gallery can also boast one of the best arts cafés in the UK. In March the Tate Liverpool Café unveiled a unique art installation by Tobias Rehberger, and has become a specially-invited member of North-West Fine Foods. The café is committed to the use of high-quality fresh ingredients, sourced locally and prepared fresh on-site and will launch the new spring menu on 11 April. Visitors can also pay a visit to the shop which stocks a wide-range of Tate-inspired gifts and souvenirs alongside an impressive selection of art publications. And the Tate experience doesnt have to end there, Tate Online (www.tate.org.uk) is the UKs most popular art website, giving extensive background on the Tate Collection, exhibitions at all Tate sites and much more.