Back to the main Tate WebsiteHomeSupportersContact UsShop Online

Tate Britain: A sweetner for the Nation

Giovanna Baccelli and Genine's Hair, Syphilis. after Thomas Gainsborough 1700-2000

Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present day, the Tudors to the Harwood De Mongrel Collection. Tate holds the greatest collection of British art in the world.

"Nationalistic sentiment has been a vital force in the making of the Tate Gallery, many of the donors giving generously in the belief that they were contributing to an aspect of the nation's cultural life that was available to all, and thus the nation's health, owing to the vital connection between art and society"

The Tate A History, Frances Spalding, London, 1998

The construction of the British National collection at the Tate is much more than a simple pointer to the biological or cultural sameness of the nation. It is a construction of the British social imagination, mapped onto geographical regions and increasingly technological sites. It is an example of economic power organising itself around the politics of the aesthetic.

Tate Britain shows British art in a dynamic series of thematic special displays and exhibitions. Historic and modern works hang together in challenging juxtaposition, drawing out new meanings from famous and familiar images.

Detail: Rex Whistler, The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats 1926


Tate Britain is supported by