Press Release

Artists lead in building Tate's Collection for the future

Artists lead in building Tate's Collection for the future: Press related to past Tate news.

A new initiative to sustain and develop the collection held by Tate on behalf of the nation is launched today with a pledge of significant gifts to the Tate Collection by leading artists including Frank Auerbach, Peter Blake, Louise Bourgeois, Anthony Caro, Patrick Caulfield, Tony Cragg, Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Deacon, Lucian Freud, Gilbert and George, Douglas Gordon, Antony Gormley, Richard Hamilton, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Rebecca Horn, Anish Kapoor, Leon Kossoff, Richard Long, Chris Ofili, Paula Rego and Rachel Whiteread.

The works donated under Building the Tate Collection will be shared with Tate’s regional partners, to enable audiences across the country to have greater access to contemporary art.

In addition to gifts from artists, the initiative will focus on:

  • Gifts of works of art from collectors to strengthen significant and under-represented areas of the Collection;
  • Partnerships and associations with Collectors to bring long-term loans of individual works and significant groups into the displays of the collection;
  • The creation of a permanent fund, through gifts and legacies, with the resulting income used to promote acquisitions, research and conservation;
  • Improving the ability of Tate to respond proactively by establishing groups of patrons who have indicated a willingness to assist on the acquisition of major works when they appear at short notice or at advantageous price.

To launch this initiative, Tate Members have committed £1 million to the campaign and a number of significant individual donations have also been received.

As a further contribution to establishing momentum, a number of private collectors, including Lord Attenborough, have offered to bequeath important British works to Tate. These include:

John Wootton Life-size Horse with Huntsman Blowing a Horn c1730
Walter Sickert Dame Peggy Ashcroft in She Stoops to Conquer c1939
Michael Andrews Self Portrait 1959
Lucian Freud Boy Smoking 1950

The aim over the next ten years and beyond is to secure up to 100 gifts of works of art from collectors and artists and to build a substantial acquisitions fund.

Tate’s Director, Nicholas Serota said:

No museum can survive by standing still. The Collection lies at the heart of what we do; we have a duty to acquire works by living artists, to build the leading collection of British Art in the world and an outstanding collection of international modern and contemporary art. We have to take this initiative to sustain our public collections in the face of declining public resources. We are enormously grateful to the artists and donors, including Tate Members, whose gifts are announced today.

Since the completion of Tate Modern and the enlargement of Tate Britain, Tate has doubled its capacity to display works. Access to the collection is a priority and members of the public will be able to visit Tate’s central store in Southwark on a regular basis.

Over the past twenty years, the cash level of government funding for acquisitions has been steadily reduced. At the same time market prices have risen – in some cases by as much as 1000%. Tate urgently needs to develop new sources of funding acquisitions in order to be able to acquire major works of art in the future and maintain its status as a centre of research and scholarship on art.

Editor notes

Images are available of the following works:

Commitments from artists
Anish Kapoor
Blue Void c1990

Anthony Caro
Table Piece XXVIII 1967

Louise Bourgeios
Mammelles 1991

Antony Gormley
Testing a World View 1993

Commitments from individuals including Lord Attenborough
John Wootton Life-size Horse with Huntsman Blowing a Horn c1730
Michael Andrews Self Portrait 1959
Lucian Freud Boy Smoking 1950