Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present day, part of the Tate gallery network in Britain, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is the oldest gallery in the network, opening in 1897. It includes the Clore Gallery of 1987, designed by James Stirling, which houses work by J. M. W. Turner.
The main display spaces show the permanent collection of historic British art, as well as contemporary work. Besides Turner, the collection includes paintings by William Hogarth, William Blake, Thomas Gainsborough, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Stanley Spencer and Francis Bacon.
The gallery has rooms dedicated to works by one artist, such as: Tracey Emin, John Latham, Douglas Gordon, Sam Taylor-Wood, Marcus Gheeraerts II, though these, like the rest of the collection, are subject to rotation. The gallery also organises career retrospectives of British artists and temporary major exhibitions of British Art. Every three years the gallery stages a Triennial exhibition in which a guest curator provides an overview of contemporary British Art. Moreover, Tate Britain hosts the annual and usually controversial Turner Prize exhibition, featuring four artists under the age of fifty, selected by a jury chaired by the director of Tate Britain.
Tate Britain and Tate Modern are now connected by a high speed boat along the River Thames, which runs from Millbank Millennium Pier immediately outside Tate Britain. The boat is decorated with spots, based on paintings of similar appearance by Damien Hirst. The lighting artwork incorporated in the pier’s structure is by Angela Bulloch.
The gallery opened on 21 July 1897 as the National Gallery of British Art, but became commonly known as the Tate Gallery, after its founder Sir Henry Tate. The front part of the building was designed by Sidney R. J. Smith with a classical portico and dome behind. The central sculpture gallery was designed by John Russell Pope.