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Tate Modern Guide

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Tate Modern - Introduction
Tate Modern, London

Tate Modern, London

Photo: © Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Tate Modern is the national gallery of international modern and contemporary art from 1900 onwards.

The Building

The Bankside Power Station was design by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the man who also designed the red telephone box. It was built in the 1950s but closed down in 1981 due to high oil prices. It reopened as Tate Modern in May 2000.

A major extension is being built as Tate Modern was designed for 1.8 million visitors a year but gets 4 million a year.

The wooden floors have been left unsealed to show the dirt and 'life' they endure under so many visitors.

Four Tates

There are four Tate galleries: Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives. The Tate collection is so vast there is only ever 10% of the collection on display across all four branches. The entire Tate Collection is available online.

Modern art is considered to be from 1900 onwards.

Permanent Collection Displays:
Tate Modern broke from tradition by arranging artworks by theme with each room mixing periods and chronology.

  • Level 3 (East): Material Gestures (New Painting and Sculpture 1945-1960)
  • Level 3 (West): Poetry and Dream (Surrealism and Beyond)
  • Level 5 (East): Idea and Object (Minimalism)
  • Level 5 (West): States of Flux (Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism)
  • Level 5: Conceptual Models

At the heart of each wing is a large central display 'hub' which focuses on one of the pivotal moments of twentieth-century art history.

Book a Private tour of Tate Modern and Tate Britain with Viator.

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