Back to the main Tate WebsiteHomeSupportersContact UsShop Online

Site Guide

Hogarth, My Dad 1700-2000

About the Harwood De Mongrel Tate Site

When asked to create this site by the Tate I found myself awkwardly situated by my admiration for parts of the collection and my equal disdain for the social values that framed the creation of much of its art and of the collection itself. From a young age, like many others, I had wanted to be an artist recognized in such palaces of high taste, without knowing much of what this meant or of the hypocrisy and contradictions it implied. The Tate, it seems to me now, has at least two contradictory aspirations. It has to maintain itself as an elite temple of the arts, reflecting the historical descendant of the social values of that elite. Then there is the Tate as a tool for democratic education: of the cultural values that orientate the trajectory of the British at home; and in an international, cultured context. This web-project hopefully takes another position, somewhere in the broken links of the collection - situated as if within the virtual representation of the Tate site - but not spoiling the hallowed turf itself. From adolescence I had visited the Tate, read the art books and generally pulled a forelock in the direction of the cult of genius: on cue relegating my own creativity to the Victorian image of the rabid dog. We know well enough that this was how it was supposed to be. The historical literature on 'rational recreations' states that, in reforming opinion, museums were envisaged as a means of exposing the working classes to the improving mental influence of middle class culture. I was being inoculated for the cultural health of the nation.

Hogarth, Skin and Rope of the Thames 1700-2000

The democratic education of the mob was an attempt to addict them to the aspirational tastefulness of Victorian Society. For the new social elite, sharing what had previously been private, exposing what had been concealed, became a totem of progressiveness. The Tate, with a more or less free admission policy, surgically removed the decadence and tyranny before offering the morsels of taste generated under previous forms of social control. The museum provides a solution to the social chaos of the street: a site where bodies, constantly under surveillance, could be rendered docile through exposure to Gainsborough, Turner, Hogarth etc. instead of the jailer's whip and bludgeon. If the prison changed you through discipline and punishment, then the museum was a way to show and tell so that you might look and learn. Here, the purpose was not to know about people's culture but to address people as the subjects of that culture; not to make the population visible to power but to render power visible to the people and, at the same time, to represent to them that power as if it were their own. The museum became, and is still, a technical solution to the problem of displaying wealth and power without the attendant risks of social disorder.


The web-project was developed with the Tate by Mongrel.

The Structure of the Website

The Tate website is divided into the following sections. You can visit each by using the menus to the right. Once within a section, subheadings will appear in the menu. You can use these to explore further within that section. You can return to the main page for that section by clicking on the section name in the menu.

A brief description of each section follows:


This section contains general information about the Tate, including opening hours, exhibition highlights for all the galleries, news and frequently asked questions. It also contains this site guide.


Information on how to support the Tate, including the Friends of the Tate and the American Fund.

Contact Us

If you can't find what you need on the website you can send your enquiries directly to us here, or just leave any comments you may have.

Shop Online

This section allows you to browse for postcards, books, posters and other Tate products. Once you have chosen something you can then order it online.


Tate Collections

Here you can browse the Tate's collections. You can choose from the General and Oppé Collections and see images and text about most Tate works.

Tate Britain

Information about Tate Britain at Millbank, London. Details of how to get there, exhibitions, displays and events in the gallery.

Tate Modern

This section contains information on the new gallery at Bankside, Tate Modern, which opened on 12 May 2000.

Tate Liverpool

Information about Tate Liverpool. Changing displays, special exhibitions and other gallery information.

Tate St Ives

Information about Tate St Ives, Cornwall. Opening times, displays, events and information about the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Tate Connections

Details of the Partnership Scheme, Touring Exhibitions, collaborations with other National Collections and Links.


Browser Type

The Tate site is optimised for Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above, or Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or above. Some features of the site, which are not integral to the navigation or the overall design, utilise Javascript. These features will work on Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and Javascript enabled Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above.

The site also uses Flash for the page headings and in other places. To see these you need the Flash plugin or QuickTime 4, otherwise a GIF will be used instead.

Browser Cache

The browser cache allows pages from the site to be stored on your hard disk. If you access a page or image you have already viewed, it is loaded from the cache rather than being downloaded from the website. This process allows the site to be displayed more quickly and efficiently. Therefore ensure that your browser cache is turned on as the Tate site is designed to make good use of this browser feature.

Monitor Settings

The Tate site is designed to look best on monitors set to at least a 800 x 600 resolution and using more than 256 colours. You can edit these settings in the control panel section of your computer.