Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tat Gallery

Tate broke charity laws by buying art from its trustees
By Nigel Reynolds, Arts Correspondent
(Filed: 19/07/2006)

The Tate Gallery has been found guilty of breaking charity laws for buying works of art by its own trustees.
The Charity Commission discovered that the Tate spent more than £700,000 on seven works of art by trustees in the past nine years, but did not seek independent valuations or even require the artist-trustees to leave the room while the purchases were approved.
In a withering report, following a nine-month investigation, the commission said that it "had found serious shortcomings in the processes for managing conflicts of interests". The commissioners went on: "In any charity we would be concerned that such basic matters were neglected, but in a charity of the size and stature of the Tate we are very disappointed."
The verdict - that the Tate broke charity law but not the criminal law - is one of the most serious indictments of the running of one of the nation's major cultural institutions in living memory.
However, Sir Nicholas Serota, the director of the two Tate galleries, Britain and Modern, and the most powerful figure in modern British art, said that neither he nor the current trustees saw any reason to resign.
The investigation was prompted by a row last autumn when The Stuckists, an art movement opposed to the Tate's championing of conceptualist art, disclosed that the Tate paid £705,000 (only £600,000 to the Tate because VAT could be reclaimed) to Chris Ofili, a former Turner Prize winner and one of its trustees, for a work called The Upper Room in 2003. It was made up of 13 canvases decorated with his trademark elephant dung.
Critics not only questioned the price but it emerged that Victoria Miro, Ofili's agent, had asked Sir Nicholas to speed up the purchase because the artist needed the money urgently because he was getting married.
Daily Telegraph


Blogger Paul Fisher said...

Deepening my suspicions that the modern artistic establishment is an inward looking, egotistical, self indulgent, self serving boys club (but with some girls in it).

2:01 PM  
Blogger ByronB said...

I don't like to think about it too deeply - I actually have to work for a living :)

2:20 AM  
Blogger gazza27 said...

If it was a bull elephant would that make it bull shit?

7:34 PM  
Blogger ByronB said...

You better believe it!! :)

6:40 AM  

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