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Letter from the Treasury to the Trustees of the National Gallery A gallery for British art

In 1889 Henry Tate, an industrialist who had made his fortune as a sugar refiner, sent a letter to the National Gallery offering his collection of British art to the nation. His conditions were that a room be set aside specifically for its display, and that the works be known as the 'Tate Collection'.

Although the offer was rejected by the National Gallery due to a lack of available space, the creation of a new gallery dedicated to British art was seen as a worthwhile aim and the search for a suitable site began. This gallery would house not only Henry Tate's gift but also British work from various other collections. An anonymous donor offered 80,000 towards the costs of building such a gallery on the condition that he be allowed to approve the chosen site. This 'anonymous donor' turned out to be Henry Tate himself.


Letter from the Treasury to the Trustees of the National Gallery
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