Letter: 'Invisible' works of art at the Tate

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The Independent Online
Sir: David Lister's article ('Tate Gallery may split collections', 25 August) made the still common error of suggesting that the Tate collection is invisible if it cannot be seen on Millbank. He believes that 'Stanley Spencer . . . does not now have a single picture on display'. On the contrary, the most complete and coherent display of Spencer's work in the collection ever assembled is currently on exhibition at the Tate (in Liverpool).

Mr Lister reports a concern over the 'division' of the Tate's British and international collections. The Tate already has a building devoted to 20th-century art, where British art is clearly understood to be embraced within the scope of the international


Tate Gallery Liverpool attracts the same number of visitors annually as the Victoria and Albert Museum or the Musee d'Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and accounts for one-third of all visitors to the Tate collections.

The Trustees of the Tate decided a decade ago that the nation's pictures should be more readily accessible to people who live in the regions, but there are still critics who argue about the rehanging of the collection while studiously ignoring the impact of Tate Gallery Liverpool and other regional initiatives.

Yours sincerely,





Tate Gallery Liverpool