Tate Archive is 50: A Journey through the World’s Largest Archive of British Art explores artworks and artefacts ranging from 1600 to the present day, with material selected for each year from 1900-1999 to fully immerse visitors into the last century of UK art.

Sketchbooks and preparatory drawings sit alongside unpublished photographs and letters in a show curated by Tate archivist Adrian Glew and the gallery group’s archive team – Andrey Lazarev, Clare Sexton, Darragh O’Donoghue, Derek Rice, Federica Berretta, Nastasia Alberti, Peter Eaves and Victoria Jenkins.

Chartered Institute of Fundraising October 2021

What to look out for

The diverse show plays host to a plethora of items rarely seen before, including:

  • Derek Jarman’s handcrafted sketchbook A blueprint for Bliss (1989)
  • Sketchbook 1 (1982-83) by Donald Rodney
  • Materials from The Thin Black Line, one of three important exhibitions curated by Lubaina Himid in the early 1980s
  • Recently discovered 1940s photographs of paintings and sculptures by abstract artist Marlow Moss
  • S. Lowry’s Mill at Farnworth, 1921
  • Jamaican-born sculptor Ronald Moody’s original typescript for An Exile Looks Back
  • First World War medals belonging to sculptor Julian Phelps Allan OBE

As per the new industry norm, visitors must book a timed ticket in advance to visit the new anniversary display at Tate Britain, which will run until next autumn.

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