Tate Britain Talk

Kenneth Clark: Art, power and influence

How do patrons influence artists and the art market?

What is the relationship between collectors, artists and galleries? How is power negotiated and what are the ethical concerns?

Join us for a lively panel discussion, using Clark’s legacy as a hugely influential patron, collector and public figure, as an invitation to explore the impact of economics and power on the contemporary art scene.

Chaired by J.J. Charlesworth (Art Review), our panellists include writer Dr Sarah Thornton and academic Dr David Bellingham and Director and Curator of Raven Row exhibition centre, Alex Sainsbury.


J.J. Charlesworth

Charlesworth has been writing about contemporary art since he left Goldsmiths College London in 1996, where he studied art. Since then he has written extensively for publications including Art Monthly, Modern Painters, Time Out London and the US website Art Agenda. He is associate editor of leading art magazine ArtReview.

Dr Sarah Thornton

Dr Sarah Thornton is a writer with a BA in Art History and a PhD in Sociology. She has been the chief writer on contemporary art for The Economist and contributed to many other publications and broadcasts. Her book, Seven Days in the Art World, is an international bestseller, translated into sixteen languages. Through engaging narrative 'days' (including one set at Tate Britain), it investigates the social, cultural and economic dynamics of contemporary art. Her forthcoming book, 33 Artists in 3 Acts, goes behind the scenes with a global range of living artists, to explore the question: what exactly is an artist today? It will be published in the UK in October.

Dr David Bellingham

Dr David Bellingham is an art historian, author and Programme Director for the Masters Degree in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London where he leads units on Ethics and the Art Market and Professional Practice and Art Appraisal; he also lectures on Classical Art and Architecture. He holds a special honours degree in Latin and Classical Archaeology from the University of Birmingham, and a doctorate from the University of Manchester for his thesis on the cultural and socio-economic aspects of sympotic scenes in ancient Roman and Pompeian wall-painting. David has published numerous books and articles on a variety of subjects, including: art fairs; art business ethics; Greek and Celtic mythology; the art market for classical sculpture and frescoes; the paintings of Sandro Botticelli; and authenticity issues in the paintings of Frans Hals. He is currently writing an introduction to the art market for professionals, collectors and students. Most recently, David delivered a paper at the University of Maastricht on the ethical reception of the Riace Bronzes (published earlier this year).

Alex Sainsbury

Alex Sainsbury joined Rear Window, a small group of artists and curators in 1993, co-organizing off-site exhibitions in London. At the same time he began collecting art. In 1998 he co-founded and funded non-profit arts organization Peer, sitting on its board until 2006. From 2009 he has directed (and curated exhibitions for) Raven Row, a non-profit gallery in Spitalfields, London. In 1993 he set up the grant-making charity Glass-House Trust, initiating various projects, mostly related to child development and social housing but most recently, MayDay Rooms, a safe house for vulnerable archives linked to social movements and experimental culture.

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

13 June 2014 at 18.30–20.00

Related events

Find out more