Collection history

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The new Tate Gallery

In 1889 the wealthy industrialist, Henry Tate, offered his collection to the nation. He subsequently offered to fund the construction of a separate Gallery for British works of art. After lengthy negotiations, a site was selected a mile away from Trafalgar Square, at Millbank, and the Gallery opened in 1897.

The new gallery was officially known the National Gallery of British Art, changing its name to the National Gallery, Millbank in 1917. However, it soon became known as the Tate Gallery. The majority of the British pictures were transferred to the Tate Gallery, and only a selection of works remained at Trafalgar Square.

At first, the Tate Gallery was under the administration of the National Gallery. In 1955 the Tate was formally established as an independent institution.