Press Release

Tate announces record attendances for 2006-7

Tate announces record attendances for 2006-7: Press related to past news.

At its annual press conference today, Tate announced its highest attendance figures ever: a record 7.7 million visits to Tate’s four galleries between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2007 and 11 million unique users to its award-winning website.

These figures are given in detail in Tate’s official report which is published annually for the first time today.

Achievements of the period include:

  • 309 works were acquired for the Tate Collection via purchase or bequest during this period, at a total value of £14.8 million. Of these there were 210 works on paper, 39 paintings and 60 sculptures, installations or mixed media. 
  • Tate’s success in saving Turner’s The Blue Rigi, Sunrise 1842 for the nation as the result of a campaign spearheaded by The Art Fund and supported generously by the public, Tate Members and The National Heritage Memorial Fund.
  • Achieving planning permission in March 2007 for Transforming Tate Modern, the new building designed by Herzog & de Meuron to the south of the existing gallery, providing Tate with a unique opportunity to create new spaces and programmes for the audiences and artists of the future.
  • The success of major art commissions during this period including Carsten Höller’s Test Site for The Unilever Series at Tate Modern and Mark Wallinger’s State Britain at Tate Britain.
  • The wide range of exhibitions and displays including major historic surveys dedicated to Holbein, Constable, and Hogarth at Tate Britain, monographic overviews dedicated to Gilbert & George and David Smith at Tate Modern and Howard Hodgkin at Tate Britain, and themed shows such as Art Now Cornwall at Tate St Ives and The Real Thing at Tate Liverpool which focused on contemporary Chinese artists.
  • The launch of Tate Next Generation, the vision for Tate to 2015, which recognises the need for Tate to adapt and develop to reflect and respond to the needs of new audiences and new art forms and to fully embrace the opportunities afforded by advances in technology.

Major works acquired for the Tate Collection:

  • Turner’s Blue Rigi, Sunrise 1842 acquired for £4.95 million.
  • John Constable’s The Glebe Farm c. 1830, presented by the American Fund as a partial bequest of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton.
  • Samuel Richardson, the Novelist (1684–1761) Seated, Surrounded by his Second Family 1740-1 by Francis Hayman, purchased with the assistance of the National Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and Tate Members.
  • A group of works by Josef Albers following the Albers and Moholy-Nagy exhibition at Tate Modern as a result of the generosity of the Trustees of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.
  • Come into the Garden, Maud 2000-3 by Howard Hodgkin, following his retrospective at Tate Britain and Jeff Wall’s A View from an Apartment 2004 - from the exhibition at Tate Modern in 2005.
  • A number of significant works by Kenneth Martin and Kurt Schwitters, allocated to the Collection by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax.
  • Time-based media pieces of importance including Tacita Dean’s Palast 2004, Stan Douglas’s Inconsolable Memories 2005 and Mark Wallinger’s Sleeper 2004.

Programme highlights:

  • Holbein in England was the second most visited exhibition ever held at Tate Britain with over 210,000 visitors.
  • Light into Colour: Turner in the South West at Tate St Ives brought together over 30 works by Turner and was visited by 62,351 people.
  • Over 5.235 million people came to Tate Modern, 750,000 of whom participated in The Unilever Series: Carsten Höller in the Turbine Hall.
  • In anticipation of European Capital of Culture, Tate Liverpool staged a range of international contemporary shows and participated in the 2006 Liverpool Biennial.
  • Displays at all four galleries provided an opportunity to see art from around the globe including Popular Paintings from Kinshasa, and a display dedicated to the Indian artist Amrita Sher-Gil, at Tate Modern and Seeing Africa, and East-West: Objects Between Cultures at Tate Britain.

Three new programmes were launched in 06/07 which attracted new audiences:

  • UBS Openings: The Long Weekend, a four-day programme of live performances, major art commissions and activities for families and young people which attracted over 110,000 visitors, 35,000 of which had never been to Tate Modern before.
  • Tate Shots, a new video podcast including a wide range of unique film including artists interviews and behind the scenes footage which has quickly shot to the top of the i-tunes art chart.
  • Tate Tracks a programme bringing art and music together which has seen some of the biggest names in the music industry respond to works in the Tate Collection.


  • A total of 548,191 people participated in learning programmes, events and activities at the four galleries during this period.
  • Tate received grants by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to embark on research into The Sublime Object and to participate in a Land Art network. Tate also received funding for Tate Encounters: Britishness and Visual Culture, a new three-year partnership with London South Bank University which will provide vital information about how second generation migrant families engage with displays at Tate Britain.

Beyond Tate:

  • Twelve exhibitions originated by Tate travelled in 2006-7 to venues in Europe, the United States and New Zealand and 668 works from the Tate Collection travelled as part of its programme of loans.
  • A further 110,280 people participated in off-site Tate learning programmes and activities.

Funding and Organisation highlights:

  • A dedicated department for research at Tate was created following Tate’s recognition as an Independent Research Organisation. Tate Media was formed to respond to the new and diverse ways in which people engage with contemporary culture.
  • Individuals, Trusts, Foundations and Public Sector Bodies were instrumental in supporting projects and acquisitions at Tate, as well as Tate Patrons, the American Patrons who contributed a total of $11.5 million, and Tate Members who gave £3.9 million in this period.
  • Tate generated 59% of income in the period with overall income at £101.5 million. Tate Enterprises (excluding Tate Catering) had a turnover of £13.7 million and contributed a profit of £2.9 million to Tate. Tate Catering sales were in excess of £13 million and profit to Tate was £1.7 million.