Tate has had various associations over time and today it is on our list of must-see museums in London. The name paints a picture of contemporary art, as in its flagship Tate Modern: an immense, riverside ex-power station designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (he of Battersea Power Station) and re-opened in 2000 as the national gallery for international modern art under the direction of Sir Nicholas Serota. Within some 4.2 million bricks, it holds works by, like, everyone: Picasso, Matisse, Dali?, Magritte, Miro`, Rothko, Lichtenstein, Warhol; the star attraction is whatever annual installation is exhibited in the colossal Turbine Hall (in 2010/11, Ai Weiwei). But before Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron created Tate Modern (they’re also behind its skyline-altering extension), if you said ‘Tate’, you would mean what is now known as Tate Britain on Millbank, which since 1897 has been the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present day, with works by everyone who is/was anyone: Turner, Blake, Constable, Gainsborough, Hogarth, Bacon, plus all those YBAs, and is host to the annual Turner prize exhibition for contemporary art. And preceding the original Tate gallery, the name was simply associated with its benefactor, Sir Henry Tate, as in Tate & Lyle sugar – we surely have him to thank for many pleasures.
- Tate Britain - Millbank; Tate Modern - 53 Bankside,
SW1 & SE1
- +44 20 7887 8000
- Opening Times
- Tate Britain - daily, 10am-6pm (10 pm first Friday); Tate Modern - daily, 10am-6pm (10pm Fri/Sat)