Collection NameTate Public Records: Trustees
Reference Number (click the number to browse all records in this collection)TG 1
Alternative Reference NumberGB 70 TG 1
Access StatusOPEN
LocationRed Zone
DescriptionScope and content: Constitution and legal status, 1856-1990; legal documents, 1893-1949; Board minutes, 1890-2000; Board agendas and papers, 1963-1990; general correspondence, 1940-1988; correspondence with individual trustees, 1927-1998; publications, 1954-1996; National Gallery Trustees, 1963-1984.
ArrangementThe archive has been listed according to the principles set out in the General International Standard Archival Description (ISAD(G)) and to guidelines issued by the Public Record Office. The list comprises the file reference, dates, title and brief description. Archives relating to the Trustees and the Tate's constitution have been given the class number TG 1. Material in this class has been listed down to file level.
Administrative HistoryThe Tate Gallery was opened in 1897 as the National Gallery of British Art. There was no separate Board of Trustees for the new Gallery which was administered by the existing Board of Trustees of the National Gallery. There was no separate Director. The senior officer of the Gallery was designated Keeper and reported to the Director of the National Gallery.
A Treasury Minute of March 24th 1917 constituted a separate Board of Trustees with authority to acquire British paintings produced within a limit of 100 years before the date of acquisition and British drawings and sculpture of any period. The Board was to supervise the management, administration and discipline but financial matters remained subject to the control of the Accounting Officer for the National Gallery vote.
The Director of the National Gallery and Keeper of the Millbank Gallery (now designated Director) were ex-officio members of the Board. Three Trustees of the National Gallery were also to be members. The other places on the Board were to be offered to a selection of gentleman with knowledge of, an interest in, modern and contemporary art, one to be reserved for a person in close touch with one or other of the chief provincial galleries. These were styled Additional Trustees. Tenure was for seven years. In 1920 a Treasury Minute stipulated that three members of the Board should be artists.
A Treasury Minute of 5th February 1955 established a completely independent Board and passed legal responsibility for the collections to that Board. This followed the National Gallery and Tate Gallery Act 1954 which came into force on February 14th 1955. The new Board was to consist of not more than ten members including up to four practising artists and one Trustee representing the National Gallery. The Director was appointed as Accounting Officer for the Vote of the Gallery. A Treasury Minute of the 19th April 1955 formally established the representation of the Tate Gallery Board on the National Gallery Board in the person of one trustee.
There have been ad hoc and standing sub-committees of the Board at different times, including: Picture Cleaning and Conservation; Publications; Restaurant; Building.
Custodial HistoryThe records have either been deposited in the archives via the Director's Office or had previously been transferred to Gallery Records or its predecessors.
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