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Tate in St Ives

Proposals for a permanent gallery dedicated to showing the work of artists living in and around St Ives had been discussed since the 1960s but it was not until the 1980s that such a dream looked like becoming a reality.

Tate had formed a direct link with St Ives when it took over the management of the Barbara Hepworth Gallery in 1980. Housed in the sculptor's former studio and dedicated to showing her work, it had opened four years earlier. Tate's interest in the rich artistic heritage of the town was further emphasised when a major exhibition of the work of the St Ives School was held at Tate's Millbank gallery in 1985. Tate Director, Alan Bowness, was approached for his support for a Gallery in Cornwall in 1985 and agreed to a loan of Tate works in the event of such a project.
Barbara Hepworth Museum, St Ives
Barbara Hepworth Museum, St Ives
  © Tate Archive 2003
Architects' Competition Brief

In 1988 Cornwall's County Council and the Penwith District Council along with South West Arts set up a Gallery Steering Group to take forward the idea. Out of the four possible gallery sites pinpointed, the derelict Porthmeor Gasworks, with its spectacular location overlooking Porthmeor Beach was chosen and purchased by Cornwall County Council for 200,000.

Page from Architects' Competition Brief
© Cornwall County Council