Tate

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The Tate is an institution that houses the United Kingdom's national collection of British Art, and International Modern and Contemporary Art. It is a network of four art museums: Tate Britain, London (previously known as the Tate Gallery, founded 1897), Tate Liverpool (founded 1988), Tate St Ives, Cornwall (founded 1993) and Tate Modern, London (founded 2000), with a complementary website, Tate Online (created 1998). It is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.[1]

Tate is used as the operating name for the corporate body which was established by the Museums and Galleries Act 1992 as The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery.

The gallery was founded in 1897, as the National Gallery of British Art. When its role was changed to include the national collection of Modern Art as well as the national collection of British art, it was renamed the Tate Gallery after Henry Tate, who had laid the foundations for the collection. The Tate Gallery was housed in the current building occupied by Tate Britain which is situated in Millbank, London. In 2000, the Tate Gallery transformed itself into the current-day Tate, which consists of a federation of four museums: Tate Britain which displays the collection of British art from 1500 to the present day; Tate Modern which is also in London, houses the Tate's collection of British and International Modern and Contemporary Art from 1900 to the present day. Tate Liverpool, in Liverpool has the same purpose as Tate Modern but on a smaller scale, and Tate St Ives displays Modern and Contemporary Art by artists who have connections with the area. All four museums share the Tate Collection. One of the Tate's most publicised art events is the awarding of the annual Turner Prize, which takes place at Tate Britain.

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History and development

The original Tate art gallery was called the National Gallery of British Art, situated on Millbank, Pimlico, London at the site of the former Millbank Prison. The idea of a National Gallery of British Art was first proposed in the 1820s by Sir John Leicester, Baron de Tabley. It took a step nearer when Robert Vernon gave his collection to the National Gallery in 1847. A decade later John Sheepshanks gave his collection to the South Kensington Museum (later the Victoria & Albert Museum), known for years as the National Gallery of Art (the same title as the Tate Gallery had). Forty years later Sir Henry Tate who was a sugar magnate and a major collector of Victorian art, offered to fund the building of the gallery to house British Art on the condition that the State pay for the site and revenue costs. Henry Tate also gifted the gallery his own collection. It was initially a collection solely of modern British art, concentrating on the works of modern—that is Victorian era—painters. It was controlled by the National Gallery until 1954.

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