Temporary closure: Historic Prints and Drawings Room
Tates Historic Prints and Drawings Room will temporarily close from Monday, 27 January until Friday, 7 March. We reopen on Monday, 10 March 2014.
As the Collection continues to develop and grow, we need to carry out refurbishment of the storage space holding the historic works on paper, including sketchbooks and watercolours by J.M.W. Turner.
We are also taking the opportunity to develop a cool store for Tates growing collection of photography. This will enable works to be stored in appropriate environmental conditions and be made accessible for viewing through the Prints and Drawings Rooms.
At the same time, a vital digital photography suite is being developed to allow for these works to be digitised and images made available on Tates website as soon as possible after acquisition.
We are able to honour existing appointments to the Historic Prints and Drawings Room but unfortunately, we are not able to take appointments during the closure.
The Modern Prints and Drawings Room is not affected by these exciting developments and we continue to welcome appointments.
We apologies for any inconvenience caused.
About the Prints and Drawings Room
All visitors are welcome to access these artworks, whether for pleasure or academic study.
Prints and Drawings Rooms holdings
The Prints and Drawings Rooms Holdings range from the sketchbooks and watercolours in the Turner Bequest to modern and contemporary prints and drawings by leading international artists.
Our staff can:
- answer your Collection enquiries
- retrieve and display artworks for you
- use the online catalogue to compile a selection of artworks
- access a comprehensive reference library relating to Turners life and work, and major reference catalogues for other artists
- sketch and paint from artworks in pencil and watercolour
- visit as a group (of up to 12 visitors) and lead your own talks and discussions about your chosen works.
Self-led group talks are encouraged. To make your own selections of prints and drawings, please consult the Art and Artists database, where you can search by artist names, titles and subjects of art works. Those flagged in green with view by appointment are available to see in the Prints and Drawings Rooms. Please send your list to email@example.com.
Reference resources you may wish to consult in preparation for your visit include:
- Turner Reference Library in the Prints and Drawings Rooms.
- Select publications on the life and work of William Blake, in the Prints and Drawings Rooms.
- Tates online research publication: J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks,
- Drawings and Watercolours
- Books and archival records in Tates Library and Archive Reading Rooms
For Prints and Drawings Room talks and workshops provided by Tate staff, please consult:
Open Monday – Friday and the first Saturday of the month
- Morning: 10.30–13.00
- Afternoon: 14.00–16.30
We advise you to check in advance that the artworks you wish to see are available.
Call: +44 (0) 20 7887 8042 / 8657
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7887 8658
Prints and Drawings Rooms
London SW1P 4RG
Visiting the Prints and Drawings Rooms
All visitors are asked to make an appointment in advance of their visit.
Groups of up to 12 can be accommodated with advance notice.
Wheelchairs are easily accommodated and arrangements can be made for individual access needs.
First time visitors are required to complete a registration form and to produce one of the following proofs of identity: – passport / national identity card – driving licence – student card.
Visitors may handle mounted artworks but access to very fragile items such as bound sketchbooks is restricted. Images from sketchbooks can be viewed in reproductions or on microfilm.
Prints and Drawings Rooms rules
Please deposit all coats, hats, bags and briefcases by the invigilation desk or in the main cloakroom (by the Manton entrance). You will not be allowed to take these to your seat. However, you are welcome to retrieve items you need, such as a notepad and laptop.
Any items you bring into or take away from the room may be searched.
All visitors must complete the registration form below as well as printing their name and permanent address in the visitors book on arrival
Visitors intending to handle works must wash their hands: a washbasin is provided.
Eating and drinking are NOT permitted. Please leave food and drink in your bag.
The staff on duty will explain the procedure for choosing works. When you have decided what you wish to see, works will be delivered to you.
Mounted works are normally shown on request. However, access to certain fragile works, such as sketchbooks, will be restricted.
Please remember that you will be handling original works of art. They are fragile and should be treated with the utmost care. You will be given a demonstration of the correct handling procedure. Always handle objects by the extreme edge of the mount and in such a way that the image remains face upwards. The surface of works of art must never be touched.
Only pencil should be used at the desks. Please ask to borrow a pencil if required. If you wish to copy from a work please ask the staff on duty.
Non-flash photography is permitted for mounted works only. It is NOT permitted for fragile sketchbooks (which cannot usually be placed on stands). Reproductions can be obtained through Tates image library, Tate Images.