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J. B. Manson
J. B. Manson

© Tate Archive 2003
J. B. Manson
(1930 - 1938)

A painter, whose loyalties appear to have been divided between his own work as an artist and his responsibilities as Director of the Tate, Manson was the least successful of Tate's Directors. Although there were some improvements during his Directorship, in 1932 the Trustees gave approval for the adoption of the 'Tate Gallery' as its official name, and the installation of electric lights in 1935 meant the gallery opening hours were longer, his dislike of modern art meant that at a time when museums in Europe and America were expanding their collections, important works of modern art were turned down by the Tate.

The exhibition programme was irregular and dull with innovative options overlooked by Manson in favour of older well-established British artists. Manson suffered from depression and alcoholism and took long periods of extended leave. He was asked to resign on the grounds of ill health in 1938.

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