Tate’s Britain: issues of continuity and comparison when re-presenting and advertising historic and contemporary British art beyond the gallery walls

Mckever, Rosalind (2014) Tate’s Britain: issues of continuity and comparison when re-presenting and advertising historic and contemporary British art beyond the gallery walls. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 20 (5). pp. 475-487. ISSN 1352-7258

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Abstract

Tate Britain’s 2011 poster campaign boldly states ‘This is Britain’ and reproduces two works from the collection, one historic, one modern or contemporary, with a strip of Union Jack flag at the bottom. The design suggests a sense of coherence in the collection and in British art in general. This article questions the purpose of this supposed coherence, by questioning its art historical basis, and focusing on its consequences for the reception and perception of historic, modern and contemporary British art amongst Tate’s audience, both within and without the gallery space. The ideas presented draw on press commentary, visitor statistics and museum advertising practice and look at three points in Tate’s history: the Millbank gallery’s 1897 opening, the 2000 rebrand as Tate Britain and the current moment of this poster campaign. This article will argue that the transhistorical juxtapositions seen in these posters are a central tenet of how Tate builds its own identity and that of British art, and that these posters are used as a satellite exhibition space, but with a curatorial approach other to that of the gallery itself, so that the collection is displayed to attract the maximum potential audience.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Art History
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N0400 Art museums, galleries, etc.
Depositing User: Chris Keene
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2013 10:50
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2014 10:39
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/47129
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