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Tate Proves Value of Public Investment by Sharing its Collection
Nick Serota, Director of the Tate art galleries, withdraws from its hanging rack Roy Lichtenstein's 'Wham' painting at the Tate's painting store in London. AP Photo/Alastair Grant.

LONDON.- At a press conference on 9 September on the publication of its Annual Report 2009/10 and presentation of its 2011 programme, Tate announced that the year was the most successful on record for art works lent from Tate Collection to venues across the world. This increase is a direct result of a greater focus by Tate on its national and international programme, transforming the way it exhibits the Collection and shares expertise with partners in the UK and abroad.

From Jenny Holzer in Woking to JMW Turner in Beijing, René Magritte in Mexico City to Bruce Nauman in Warsaw, audiences at over 252 venues saw works lent from the Tate Collection.

The inaugural tour of the ARTIST ROOMS collection, acquired by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland from Anthony d’Offay through part gift/part purchase, reached wide audiences when it traveled across the UK to fourteen galleries. The tour was made possible through the generosity of the Art Fund and, in Scotland, of The Scottish Government. Tate toured fifteen of its exhibitions to nearly twenty international venues across ten different countries. Tate also secured further funding for its national network of galleries and museums, which expanded from ten to eighteen partners.

It was also announced today that Tate solely acquired works by significantly more international artists than in previous years, from regions in the world that have been little represented in the national Collection of contemporary art. Acquisitions included works by artists from Algeria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Cuba, South Africa and Korea. Regional acquisition committees are now in place for Latin America, North America, Middle East and Asia Pacific region, making Tate’s international acquisition remit unique.

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “This year we have taken our Collection in new directions. It has been enriched through the energetic focus of our curators on acquiring works from dynamic emerging art centres across the world. While continuing to build our Collection to reflect the changes in art practice we have also enhanced the way we share it. This is shown by the record number of loans we have made in the UK and abroad. Through our developing partnership network we will continue to share expertise and exchange ideas with galleries across the UK to help develop their audiences and income streams, contributing to their sustainability at a time when funding is likely to fall.”

Further achievements of the period include:

• In 2009-10 over 7 million people visited a Tate gallery in Britain, making Tate after the Louvre the most successful museum organisation in the world.

• Tate lent 887 works to 130 venues in the UK and 443 works to 122 venues across the world.

• 293 works were acquired by Tate this year and three works were added to the ARTIST ROOMS collection, making a total of 296 works entering the Collection. Of these 193 are works or groups of works on paper; 33 are paintings; 22 are sculptures; 2 are relief works; 41 are installations; and 2 are performance works. The total value of works acquired for the Collection in 2009/10 is just under £14 million.

• In 2009-10 Tate appointed its first Curator of Photography and International Art, Simon Baker, demonstrating Tate’s commitment to strengthening its representation of this important area of art practice. For the first time works by Bill Brandt, Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Edward Weston entered the Collection. They were given to Tate in a notable photographic collection by Barbara Lloyd through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme. A large group of photographs by Keith Arnatt was also acquired. We also launched a photography acquisitions committee.

• Other notable works that entered the Collection this year included a performance by Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, the last painting by Patrick Caulfield, two important Camden Town paintings and several Arte Povera works by Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Marisa Merz, Pino Pascali and Gilberto Zorio. Significant acquisitions for the historic British collection included eight hand-coloured etchings by William Blake and Mrs Carl Meyer and her Children 1896 by John Singer Sargent.

• Tate attracts more visitors per square metre than its international peers, with less government funding per visitor than any other major museum or gallery in the UK.

• The building work on the new development of Tate Modern was launched by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, in January 2010. The lids to the oil tanks have been removed and piling work to strengthen the existing Turbine Hall foundations and support the new building is now underway.

• The Mayor also announced significant support for the Bankside Urban Forest, a related programme of improvements to the public realm around Tate Modern which will create stronger links from St Paul’s Cathedral and the City to Southwark.

• Research is the foundation for all Tate’s exhibitions and displays, and informs activity across the organisation. This year we founded a new Research Centre themed around The Art Museum and its Future.

• Tate Online has become the most popular arts website in the UK with 18.9 million unique visitors last year. By the end of July 2010, Tate also had over 125,000 followers on Twitter and its Facebook supporters numbered 90,000.

• This year more than 200,000 school children aged under sixteen participated in organised activities at our galleries.

• In recognition of the importance learning has in Tate’s future, the first Director of Learning, Anna Cutler, was appointed this year.

• New exchanges around the world also contributed to the broadening of the experience of our curators through Tate Exchange as well as bringing new global perspectives to Tate.

• The Tate Movie Project, the first animated film made by children for children, brought together by Tate, Fallon and Aardman was launched this year.

• A successful exhibition programme was presented with research at its core, including John Baldessari and Pop Life at Tate Modern, Van Dyck and Richard Long at Tate Britain, The Dark Monarch and Dexter Dalwood at Tate St Ives and Glenn Brown and Afro Modern at Tate Liverpool. We worked with Robert Morris to recreate his seminal work Bodyspacemotionthings and commissioned How It Is by Miroslaw Balka for the Unilever Series at Tate Modern.

• Tate generates more of its income through donations and trading than any equivalent national museum in the UK. In the past five years Tate has grown its self-generated income by 16%, a rate well above the growth in Government Grant-in-Aid.

• Efficiency initiatives were taken forward in storage, procurement and energy use to make sure we make the most of every pound we receive. We were able to reduce our consumption of gas and electricity as well as the amount of waste going to landfill.

Tate | Nicholas Serota | ARTIST ROOMS Collection |  |

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