Tate first started publishing books in 1911. 1,100 or so books and 100 years later Tate is a family of four art galleries and Tate Publishing is an award-winning publisher wholly owned by the Trustees of Tate.

Throughout the year I’ll be giving you insights into our book-making team based here at Tate Britain and introduce you to some the brilliant artists, authors and illustrators who we are so lucky to work with.

The spines of various Tate Publishing books

When I first started researching the history of Tate Publishing I asked some of our longer standing staff for humorous anecdotes, tales of intrigue or book-related scandals, preferably Tweet-sized. In response our publishing director handed me a brown manila folder simply labelled ‘Tate Gallery Exhibition Catalogues. 1911 to the present’.

Tate Gallery Exhibition Catalogues. 1911 to the present
‘Tate Gallery Exhibition Catalogues. 1911 to the present.’ Not yet published.

Thankfully, it’s more compelling than it looks not only because it reflects the wide variety of exhibitions staged at Tate over the past century but also because it forms a fantastic timeline of twentieth-century book design.

1964 Miró exhibition catalogue from Tate Publishing
1964 Miró exhibition catalogue from Tate Publishing

Keep an eye out for more posts from the archive later in the year when I’ll show you the very first book Tate ever published. In the meantime I’ll be opening the covers of books that have more recently landed on our shelves which range from poignant, political photomontage to colourfully illustrated bed-time stories.

Browse and buy Tate Publishing’s full range of books in the Tate Online Shop.



Brian Sewell gave you guys quite a convincing bashing in yesterday's Standard