Fodor's Expert Review Tate Britain

Westminster Museum/Gallery
Free Fodor's Choice
Gallery, Tate Britain, London, England

First opened in 1897, and funded by the sugar magnate Sir Henry Tate, this stately neoclassical institution may not be as ambitious as its Bankside sibling, Tate Modern, but its bright galleries lure only a fraction of the Modern's overwhelming crowds and are a great place to explore British art from 1500 to the present. The museum includes the Linbury Galleries on the lower floors, which stage temporary exhibitions, and a permanent collection on the upper floors. And what a collection it is—with classic works by John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, Francis Bacon, and an outstanding display from J.M.W. Turner in the Clore Gallery. Sumptuous Pre-Raphaelite pieces are a major draw, while more recent art historical periods are represented by works by artists such as Rachel Whiteread, L.S. Lowry, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Barbara Hepworth, and David Hockney. The Tate Britain also hosts the annual Turner Prize exhibition, with its accompanying furor over the state of contemporary art,... READ MORE

First opened in 1897, and funded by the sugar magnate Sir Henry Tate, this stately neoclassical institution may not be as ambitious as its Bankside sibling, Tate Modern, but its bright galleries lure only a fraction of the Modern's overwhelming crowds and are a great place to explore British art from 1500 to the present. The museum includes the Linbury Galleries on the lower floors, which stage temporary exhibitions, and a permanent collection on the upper floors. And what a collection it is—with classic works by John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, Francis Bacon, and an outstanding display from J.M.W. Turner in the Clore Gallery. Sumptuous Pre-Raphaelite pieces are a major draw, while more recent art historical periods are represented by works by artists such as Rachel Whiteread, L.S. Lowry, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Barbara Hepworth, and David Hockney. The Tate Britain also hosts the annual Turner Prize exhibition, with its accompanying furor over the state of contemporary art, from about October to January each year. There's a good little café, and the excellent Rex Whistler Restaurant has been something of an institution since it first opened in 1927. Look out for semiregular Late at Tate Friday evening events, when the gallery is open late for talks or performances; check the website for details.

Craving more art? Head down the river on the Tate Boat (£8.60 one-way) to the Tate Modern; it runs between the two museums every 40 minutes. A River Roamer ticket (£19.80) permits a day's travel, with stops including the London Eye and the Tower of London. You get a discount of roughly a third if you have a Travelcard.

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Quick Facts

Millbank
London, Greater London  SW1P 4RG, England

020-7887–8888

www.tate.org.uk/britain

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free; charge for special exhibitions, Free; special exhibitions £13–£22; audio guide £4.50, Free; special exhibitions from £13; audio guide £5

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