From 29 August, BT will become the first sponsor of the Tate website. Tate.org.uk is one of the largest and most popular arts websites in the world, containing catalogue entries for over 25,000 items in the Tate Collection, 14,000 images, 2,500 pages of text online and a sophisticated subject search mechanism which allows users easily to locate information. Launched in 1998, the website currently attracts over 800,000* hits a day.
BT’s generous support over the next two years will enable Tate to develop and expand its online facilities such as the Collection catalogue and research archives, thereby fulfilling Tate’s longstanding aim of increased public access to the national collection of British and international modern art. In addition to BT’s financial support, BTOpenworld will act as the deliverer of the website, providing technical support which will allow Tate to commission more web art, web casting projects and collaborations with artists.
The new programme, enabled by this sponsorship, will start in autumn this year, with a special online project in collaboration with Damien Hirst and focusing on his installation work Pharmacy. The work goes on display at Tate Modern in October as part of Still Life/Object/Real Life within the Collection displays, which are also in association with BT. Virtual reality technology will enable online users to explore the space, and Hirst will tell the story of the work and its creation, using previously unpublished material.
Sandy Nairne, Director: Programmes, Tate, commented:
‘I am thrilled that BT are enabling us to bring art from the Tate Collection to so many more people through their support of Tate Online. It’s a great partnership which allows us to extend our work world-wide.’
BT Group communications director, Robin Pauley, said:
‘The extension of BT’s sponsorship of Tate into the online arena takes the partnership to an exciting new level. Through this agreement, Tate’s extensive collection becomes truly accessible and BT is very proud to be the enabling force behind this.’
*Hits are registered as files requested by users. It is estimated that the website attracts over one million visitors a year.