Tate promises a better hang
May 18 2012
Central to that is a rehang of the collection, which the gallery's director Penelope Curtis said would be displayed chronologically – from 1550 to the present day – rather themed or by artist group.
That will please vocal critics – among them the Guardian's Jonathan Jones and the respected Burlington Magazine – who have been aghast at the paucity of pre-1900 works being displayed over recent years.
That is down to the Millbank Project, explained Curtis. "What we didn't do well enough was communicate that we were in the middle of a building project. We were perhaps too successful in hiding it."
Nicholas Serota, overall director of Tate, admitted: "Obviously when you have something like a fifth of the galleries out of service you have to sympathise with the visitors.
"They are expecting to see a full panorama of art from 1550 to the present day and we haven't been able to show many of the great works in the collection."
That's a masteful piece of spin, and slightly missing the point. But never mind. As I said a while ago, the new Turner galleries are a triumph, which bodes well for all the rest.