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The BBC's Rosie Millard
"Tonight's guest list reads like a who's who of the contemporary art world"
 real 28k

Thursday, 23 March, 2000, 06:40 GMT
Artists unveil Tate Britain
tate
The Tate is one of the UK's best loved galleries
More than 50 leading UK artists from Tracey Emin to Howard Hodgkin have relaunched the Tate Gallery as a home for British works only.

The event followed the departure of the Tate's international collection to its new home - the Tate Modern, located beside the Thames in London.

Tate Britain, as the old Tate building will now be named, will hold the major collection of British artworks ranging from Elizabethan miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard to contemporary artist David Hockney.


Tracey Emin signs the wall of the revamped gallery
Tracey Emin signs the wall of the revamped gallery
Key works by van Dyck, Gainsborough and Stanley Spencer will be on show as well as the national collection of paintings by JMW Turner.

Six new galleries to open next spring will allow more paintings to be brought out of the Tate's vast archive. Currently the gallery displays just 15% of its collection.

The gallery's director, Stephen Deuchar, says Tate Britain will bring a new zest to the world's largest display of art from the UK.

"We have an almost limitless capacity in the years ahead to explore British art," he said.

Tate Britain will hold on to some key visitor attractions, mindful of the attention the new Tate Modern will receive when it opens in May.


Who's out:
Canaletto
Dali
van Gogh
Picasso
Whistler
A large collection of modern British art will open this summer and the controversial Turner Prize will continue to be held there annually.

Several celebrities, such as Antony Gormley, Peter Blake and Anish Kapoor were on hand on Thursday to endorse the relaunched gallery.

But not everyone in the art world is pleased with the direction the Tate is taking.


Who's in:
Constable
Hogarth
Moore
Rossetti
Whiteread
Charles Thomson is a member of the 'Stuckists' - an art movement campaigning for the return of traditional values in painting, which he feels the Tate no longer supports.

"I think a lot of people are fed up with the Tate Gallery, furthermore, they are being duped by it because they respect it.

"They go along and they see something like a dirty bed and they think it must be art because it's in the Tate," he said.

But the ethos of Tate Britain would probably have met with the approval of sugar magnate Henry Tate, who founded the gallery in 1897 as the National Gallery of British Art.


Flatford Mill
Old masters: Detail of Constable's Flatford Mill
The director of the Tate, Sir Nicholas Serota, said many might question why there was still the need for a national collection, dating from the glory days of the British Empire.

But he said: "International interest in British art is higher than it has ever been.

"Of course there's an interest in younger British artists but there's also interest in what the older generation is doing and has done and there's a huge interest in British art of the past."

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08 Feb 00 | UK
Thoroughly modern Tate
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