Press Release

Details of Artist Trustees Acquisitions

Details of Artist Trustees Acquisitions: Press related to past acquisitions.

Tate has a statutory obligation to collect the work of living artists and since 1955 has been required to have at least three artists on its Board. Many of these have been internationally recognised artists, including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Victor Pasmore and Anthony Caro. Their contribution to the development of Tate has been inestimable.

From the 1960s to the 1980s purchases of work by serving trustees occurred regularly with purchases being made from amongst others Ceri Richards, Roland Penrose, Adrian Stokes, John Piper, Howard Hodgkin and Patrick Heron.

In the late 1980s the Director and Chairman agreed that the practice of purchasing works by serving trustees should be limited only to ‘special circumstances’. Over the last 10 years, Tate has acquired a number of works from serving artist trustees and on each occasion the acquisition has been fully published in Tate Report as a matter of public record.

Purchases of works by Artist Trustees 1959 - 1989
[As Tate claims back VAT the figures do not include VAT except where stated]

Ceri Richards (Trustee: September 1958 - September 1965)
Two Females 1937-8
Purchased 1959 from the artist for £650
Circular Bases 1961
Purchased 1963 from Marlborough Fine Art Ltd for £600

Adrian Stokes (Trustee: September 1960 - September 1967)
Olive Terraces 1938 and c.1952
Purchased 1965 from Marlborough Fine Art Ltd for £150
Still Life XXIV
Purchased 1965 from Marlborough Fine Art Ltd for £120

Sir Roland Penrose (Trustee: July 1959 - June 1966)
Le Grand Jour 1938
Purchased 1964 from Mrs Gigi Crompton for £210

John Piper (Trustee: January 1968 - October 1974)
Construction 1934/1967
Purchased 1968 from Marlborough Fine Art Ltd for £750

Howard Hodgkin (Trustee: January 1970 - December 1976)
In a Hotel Garden 1974
Purchased 1974 from Alex Reid & Lefevre Ltd for £2,900 [VAT Inclusive]
Interior of a Museum 1956-9
Purchased 1977 from Kasmin Limited for £2,000 [VAT Inclusive]

Patrick Heron (Trustee: September 1980 - July 1987)
Azalea Garden May 1956
Purchased 1980 from Waddington Gallery for £6,000
Harbour Window with Two Figures, St Ives: July 1950
Purchased 1980 from Susanna and Katharine Heron for £11,381

Sir Anthony Caro (Trustee: September 1982 - September 1989)
Tundra 1975 Purchased 1982 from TM and PM Caro for £35,294
Figure 1956
Purchased 1989 from Frederick Mulder for £2,000

John Golding (Trustee: May 1984 - May 1991)
H13 (Pleated Light - Verona) 1983 Purchased 1984 from Juda Rowan Gallery for £6,210

Since 1997 the following acquisitions have been made:


Michael Craig-Martin (Trustee: April 1989 - April 1999 (renewed in April 1994)
Knowing 1996
Purchased 1997 from Waddington Gallery for £20,000
Michael Craig-Martin served as a trustee for an unusually long period and trustees felt that a major development in his work ought to be represented in the national Collection, especially as the most recent work in the Collection dated from seventeen years earlier

Bill Woodrow (Trustee: July 1996 - July 2001)
Wilson’s Phalarope 1994 and Untitled 1995
Purchased in 1997 from Lisson Gallery for £20,000 (£10,000 for each work) The two drawings had been under consideration since his exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre in September 1995 and agreement to purchase was made in principle well before Woodrow was appointed to the Board in July 1996. However, following the commitment to the acquisition, the works were lent by the artist to a travelling exhibition. In consequence, the formal acquisition only took place at the Board in March 1997

Peter Doig (Trustee: November 1995 - November 2000)
Echo Lake (1998)
Purchased 1998 from Victoria Miro Gallery for £19,600
Presented by the trustees in 1998, in honour of Sir Dennis and Lady Stevenson to mark his period as Chairman 1989-98.

Gillian Wearing (Trustee: March 2000 - March 2005)
Theresa and series 1998 and Signs series 1992-3
Purchased 2000 from Interim Art at a total cost of £53,500
These two series of photographic works had been under consideration since Gillian Wearing’s exhibition at Interim Art in December 1998, well before the artist was appointed to the Board. The purchase was confirmed in November 1999 and reported to the Board in March 2000, which was also her first Board meeting.

Chris Ofili (Trustee: November 2000 - November 2005)
The Upper Room (1998-2002)
Purchased 2004 from Victoria Miro Gallery for £600,000 with support from Members, the NACF and a group of donors
The group of 13 paintings is clearly the most important work of Ofili’s career and would otherwise have been broken up or sold abroad.


Christopher Le Brun (Trustee: January 1990 - January 1995)
50 Etchings 1990
Presented by the artist and Charles Booth Clibborn in 1991

Richard Deacon (Trustee: May 1991 - May 1996)
This, That and the Other 1985
Presented by Charles Saatchi in 1992

Bill Woodrow (Trustee: July 1996 - July 2001)
Untitled 1992
Presented by the artist in 1997

Peter Doig (Trustee: November 1995 - November 2000)
Ten Etchings 1996
Presented by the artist and Charles Booth Clibborn in 1997
Grasshopper 1997
Ten etchings
Presented by the artist and Charles Booth Clibborn in 1998
Blizzard ‘77 1997
Eight aquatints
Presented by the artist, Editions Salzau Kiel and Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin in 1998

Julian Opie (Trustee: October 2001 - October 2006)
Escaped Animals 2002
Presented by Baltic, Gateshead in January 2003


In 2004 a number of artists made pledges of major works to the Collection Campaign. Of these several were former trustees and Chris Ofili and Julian Opie, both serving trustees at the time, made pledges of future gifts to the Collection that were warmly welcomed by trustees as part of the campaign to strengthen the Collection. In common with other pledges, these generous offers will be taken up when suitable works are available.