The freshly renamed Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Archive Gallery at Tate Britain has reopened today, with more than 350 artworks by the space’s now eponymous émigré painter on display. Motesiczky’s work is joined by related Tate Archive collections and paintings for a six month stint in the gallery.

While the items of exhibition will change next year, the gallery will retain its new moniker in perpetuity.

Tate Britain
Still Life with Sheep, 1938 © The estate of Marie-Louise von Motesiczky

If you could only paint a single good picture in your lifetime, your life would be worthwhile.

Marie-Louise von Motesiczky

“This generous grant by the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust is a fitting and lasting tribute to one among many émigré cultural figures who have enriched this country in inestimable ways,” according to Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain. “This and other grants by her Trust has helped to cement Tate Archive’s reputation as a centre of excellence for the study of émigré artists and art writers particularly those who fled Europe before the Second World War, which now number over 50 such collections.”

The Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust has supported Tate Archives since 2012, when personal papers of Marie-Louise von Motesiczky were originally presented to the gallery group.


Marie-Louise von Motesiczky

Following the mantra “if you could only paint a single good picture in your lifetime, your life would be worthwhile”, Motesiczky created over three hundred paintings – made up mainly of portraits, self-portraits and still-lifes – across a career that spanned over seven decades. Many of these works now hang in major public galleries throughout the world.

In addition to the major gift which led to the gallery being renamed, the trust is supporting Tate Archive’s three year Émigré Art Archives project. This scheme will oversee the cataloguing and digitisation of a range of objects belonging to figures including J.P. Hodin, David Mayor and Jankel Adler.

Frances Carey, chair of the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust, said that Tate has “done Marie-Louise proud,” before adding, “it is so important for archival material of this kind to be properly looked after and made available in person and on line, Tate’s facilities and expertise ensure that people everywhere can understand the trajectory of not just a single individual but a whole milieu, and a chapter in history which resonates to this day.”

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