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Tate Gallery Announces Record Year for Acquisitions to Collection
Damien Hirst and Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate with Mother and Child Divided 2007 in Turner Prize: A Retrospective at Tate Britain. Photo: Andy Paradise

LONDON.- At a press conference on 3 September on the publication of its Annual Report 2007/08 and presentation of its future programme, Tate announced that the year was the most successful on record for acquisitions to the Tate Collection.

494 works, valued at £63.1 million, were acquired for the Collection in 2007-8. Of these 320 were thanks to the generosity of collectors and artists through gifts and bequests.

Four important works were presented by Damien Hirst. Louise Bourgeois gave her work, Maman 1999, the iconic spider which has become closely associated with Tate Modern, and Leon Kossoff gifted more than 30 unique prints.The late Simon Sainsbury bequeathed 18 works to Tate and the National Gallery, including works by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Balthus. Tate was also bequeathed an important Stanley Spencer painting, The Wool Shop 1939, by Maurice Farquharson and acquired a Bacon painting through the ‘acceptance-in-lieu’ scheme and a work by Kitaj.

Although the remarkable gift by Anthony d’Offay to the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate of ARTIST ROOMS, as well as David Hockney’s gift of Bigger Trees near Warter 2007 were announced in 2007/08, these gifts will not be formally accessioned until the next financial year.

Other achievements of the year include:

A very successful start to Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture celebrations with over 71,000 people visiting the Turner Prize at Tate Liverpool, making it the most visited exhibition on record. The newly re-hung displays DLA Piper Series: The Twentieth Century - How it looked & how it felt, included many of the icons of the Collection, and exhibitions dedicated to Peter Blake and Niki de Saint Phalle helped boost attendance to 694,228 overall.

Major exhibitions including Dalí & Film, Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia, Louise Bourgeois and Juan Muñoz at Tate Modern, How We Are, Millais and Peter Doig at Tate Britain which helped to bring in 5,236,702 to Tate Modern and 1,536,041 visitors to Tate Britain.

The successful programme at Tate St Ives included the exhibition If Everybody Had an Ocean: Brian Wilson, which explored a wide range of work shaped by the creative force behind the Beach Boys, and displays dedicated to Rose Hilton, Hugh Stoneman and Margo Maeckleberghe, highlighting the gallery’s unique position at showcasing work relevant to the landscape and artistic tradition in the South West.

The Transforming Tate Modern project to extend Tate Modern with a landmark building by architects Herzog & de Meuron was given a major boost with the announcement of a capital investment of £50 million from Government towards the project in December 2007

The success of the much debated installation by artist Doris Salcedo Shibboleth for The Unilever Series at Tate Modern from 9 October 2007 to 6 April 2008; and the announcement that Sotheby’s three year sponsorship of the Duveens Commission at Tate Britain will allow for a yearly site-specific installation at Tate Britain.

Collaboration on the largest retrospective of the work of JMW Turner to be held in the USA which was curated with 89 loans from the Tate’s Turner Bequest and visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and the Dallas Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In their place in the Clore Gallery at Tate Britain, David Hockney worked with curators to create an exhibition of rarely displayed Turner watercolours.

At Tate Modern, many successful events and screenings as part of the growing performance and film strands. UBS Openings Live this year included the UK premier of Alvin Curran’s Maritime Rites, a major performance on the banks of the river Thames involving the LSO and the bells of St Paul’s Cathedral and successful events in the Film programme included Paradise Now, a major series devoted to French avant-garde cinema.

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