Tracey Emin My Bed 1998
Tracey Emin My Bed 1998

Tracey Emin’s installation work My Bed will be shown again at Tate after its new owner agreed to lend it for at least ten years.

It was shown at Tate Britain in the exhibition for the 1999 Turner Prize, for which Emin was shortlisted.

German collector Count Christian Duerckheim bought the work at auction earlier this year.  He said: ‘I always admired the honesty of Tracey, but I bought My Bed because it is a metaphor for life, where troubles begin and logics die.’

Tracey Emin said today: ‘Count Duerckheim has done a very generous thing. I have always felt My Bed belongs at Tate. And now it will be. I cherish the moment to install it there. I could not be happier.’ 

My Bed was made in Emin’s Waterloo council flat in 1998. An unconventional and uncompromising self-portrait through objects, it features the artist’s own bed covered in stained sheets, discarded condoms, blood-stained underwear and empty bottles of alcohol. The piece gives a snapshot of Emin’s life after a traumatic relationship breakdown.

Tate’s director, Nicholas Serota, said: ‘I am absolutely delighted that Count Duerckheim has agreed to lend such an important work to Tate… We look forward to displaying it and are most grateful to Count Duerckheim for his generosity in creating an opportunity for visitors to see a work that now has iconic status.’

Further details will be announced in the autumn.