Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to today. There are four 'Tates': Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives in Cornwall, in the south-west of England. The entire Tate Collection is available online.
A new Tate Britain was unveiled on 19 November 2013. The transformation of the oldest part of the Grade II Millbank building by leading architects Caruso St John marks a significant moment for Tate Britain. The unveiling included the reopening of the main entrance to Tate Britain and The Whistler Restaurant, new learning studios and a new archive gallery. The circular balcony of the domed atrium, closed to visitors since the 1920s, is the elegant new café and bar for Tate Members; and the original Grand Saloon, a light-filled space overlooking the Thames has also opened.
The unveiling follows the opening in May 2013 of the BP Displays at Tate Britain, which includes a chronological circuit of new permanent galleries and galleries devoted to two of the greatest figures in British art: William Blake and Henry Moore. Each of these artists, along with J.M.W. Turner, has a special historic relationship with Tate Britain. Alongside these, a new series of seasonal BP Spotlight collection displays offer more depth on particular artworks, artists or themes.
The BP Walk through British Art offers a circuit of Tate Britain’s unparalleled collection from its beginnings to its end. This ‘walk through time’ has been arranged to ensure that the collection’s full historical range, from 1545 to the present, is always on show. There are no designated themes or movements; instead, you can see a range of art made at any one moment in an open conversational manner.
The gallery layout has been reconfigured to create a circuit around its outer perimeter, exploiting the long enfilades of galleries that open onto each another. You experience a cross-section that is representative of what we know as ‘British art’, meeting both well-known and less-familiar works. The circuit travels anti-clockwise around the building with threshold dates on the floor to tell you where you are in time.
Other areas introduce artists who have a strong relationship with Tate Britain. Two galleries on the main floor are devoted to Henry Moore, one of Britain’s pre-eminent sculptors. The rooms explore Moore’s close personal relationship with Tate, investigate his working processes and highlight his public sculpture of the 1950s and 1960s.
The Clore Gallery is dedicated to the Turner Collection and houses the artist’s bequest to the nation. A room of works by Turner’s great rival and contemporary, John Constable, are also on display.
The upper floor of the Clore gallery showcases a changing selection of representative works from Tate’s outstanding collection of paintings, watercolors, drawings and prints by the visionary artist William Blake.
Also, look at the outside of the building by the Manton entrance where you can clearly see shrapnel dents from the Second World War blitz bombs.