Its director, Sir Nicholas Serota, said that the works did
not deserve to be in a national collection, even though their
five-month exhibition last autumn drew thousands of people
to the Walker, one of the outstanding collections of fine
art in Europe and part of National Museums Liverpool.
story in The Times here
Tate's rejection of the Stuckist donation of 160 paintings
appears 21 Aug 2005 in The Sunday Times magazine's
cover story Wonder Walls on Tate Britain's rehang here
also covered by: www.independent.co.uk,
State University (28.7.05), www.artshub.com,
Media Monitor, Wikipedia
you didn't think the Tate was woefully out of touch the news
this week that it rejected a gift of 160 paintings by the
Stuckists..... makes it painfully clear." -Nate Lippens,
Seattle blogsite www.thestranger.com
that representational crap is just too boring and unoriginal
to be worth collecting, even when given away for free, but
canned feces? Pure genius, clearly worth 40
times its weight in gold!" -
Blogs on www.thestranger.com,
of Michigan, www.newmusicbox.org,
Read Mark Vallen's Art for a Change blog here
Discussion on http://foreigndispatches.typepad.com
In Russian art
Interview and debate on BBC Radio 5 Live. Reported in The
Week magazine (5.8.05).
above adapted from "Sir
Nicholas Serota Makes an Acquisitions Decision" by
+44 (0) 20 7887 8000
fax +44 (0) 20 7887 8007
writing with regard to the offer to donate to Tate a number
of works by artists associated with the group Stuckism International.
As discussed in our earlier correspondence, the offer and
images of a considerable number of the works in question have
been reviewed by our curators and presented to the Board of
to say that they are agreed that this is not an offer we could
accept, though the generous spirit in which it is made is
much appreciated. I am sorry that this is a disappointing
response. All acquisitions entail a significant commitment
of care and future expense and pressure on our resources means
that even proposed gifts must be considered with great care.
We do not feel that the work is of sufficient quality in terms
of accomplishment, innovation or originality of thought to
warrant preservation in perpetuity in the national collection.
say, it has been suggested that we should ensure that the
Tate Archive, as the national record of art in Britain, properly
represents the contribution of the Stuckist movement to debates
about contemporary art in recent years. I have asked our Archivist
to check what material we have recording your various events
and demonstrations, particularly relating to Tate and the
extend to all the artists involved my thanks for bearing Tate
in mind when considering this generous offer. I am sorry we
cannot respond more positively.
of letter here
minutes of the July meeting of the Trustees are on the Tate
website. There is no mention of the offer or any curators'
report, and no record that any decision at all was taken on
this offer by the Trustees. This is yet another example of
the secrecy in which the Tate conducts its business with a
distinct lack of openness (which Tate Chairman Paul Myners
has called "corruption").
work acquired is hidden in anonymity:
10 Acquisitions for Decision
(agenda item 12) The Trustees approved the proposed acquisition.
was this proposed acquisition that was approved? The public
are not told, but this is a public body spending public money
on work for the public, which the Tate is failing in its duty
to keep informed.
Tate states, "The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery
is required to follow the principles established by the Nolan
Committee in the conduct of public bodies." One of these
- Holders of public office should be as open as possible
about all the decisions and actions that they take. They
should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information
only when the wider public interest clearly demands."
Trustees July minutes online on this site
here, on Tate site as pdf here
Nolan Committee Seven Principles
of Public Life here
The Tate has since changed its policy on trustee minutes and
is not censoring quite so much of them. The revised version
can be found on the Tate site here.
Mr Debbaut explained that the Stuckists had offered a large
number of works to Tate (some, but it was not clear all, as
gifts) following an exhibition held at the Walker Gallery
in Liverpool. Curators and the Collection Committee had recommended
against accepting the gift. The Trustees were advised that
there may be some media coverage of the Stuckists’ likely
negative reaction to this decision.
IS THE MEDIUM OF YESTERDAY"
- Tate Chairman, Paul Myners
The above is a comment made to the Stuckists
during their demo outside the Turner Prize in 2004, at which
Myners CBE was Chairman of the Tate, Acting Chairman of
Marks and Spencer, Chairman of Aspen Insurance and Guardian
Media Group, member of the Court of Directors of the Bank
of England, Non-Executive Director of the Bank of New York.
Paul Myners was elected Tate Chairman in 2004 on 1 April.
The Tate trustees are responsible for deciding on acquisitions
(see Ofili trustee scandal here).
In 2008 Paul Myners was made Lord Myners.
for the medium of today:
find out what the Tate does think worth acquiring click
here [link changed since 2005] for its list of new work
in the collection. The first artwork, by Jennifer Allora,
consists of: metal coathangers, ham radio transmitter,
example of how the Tate represents painting
here (NB in 2005 this work was listed as a painting:
it has since been reclassified as "mixed media sculpture").