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Establishing Tate Modern: vision and patronage

Donnellan, Caroline (2013) Establishing Tate Modern: vision and patronage. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Tate Modern has attracted significant academic interest aimed at analysing its cultural and urban regeneration impact. Yet there exists no research which provides an in-depth and contextual framework examining how Tate Modern was established, nor is there a study which assesses critically the development of Tate’s collection of international modern and contemporary art. Why is this important? It is relevant because a historic conflict of interests developed within the Tate’s founding organisation which was reluctant to host it. The outcome was that gaps were created in the original National Modern Foreign Collection, which had to be later compensated for within the spaces of Tate Modern. Furthermore, Tate Modern was established by the Tate, in place of a London or national government. Manoeuvring to the position of civic patron was a long process for the Tate, which had been affected by changing political and cultural circumstances. From the organisation’s inception, a complex model of public and private vision and patronage emerged, which was impeded by conflicting national and international agendas. Modernisation and modernity impacted on the organisation through political and cultural necessity, forcing it to adjust to the new social climate. However, the underlying theme in the Tate’s development has been the relationship between culture and commerce. These are the reasons why this thesis examines how Tate Modern was established in the particular way that it was, and why it was re-imagined as a distinct kind of museum of modern art in London, and one that was relevant for the new millennium.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Caroline Donnellan
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Tavernor, Robert and Walsh, Victoria

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