Tate Britain, ©Tony Hisgett via wikipedia
The Tate Britain announced earlier this week that when it rehangs its galleries on May 23, women artists from the 17th century to the present will be given more attention. The new displays from the National Collection of British Art will show more than 800 works by more than 350 artists, including favorites, new discoveries, and new commissions, as well as several large-scale contemporary installations. Women like Bridget Riley, Tracey Emin, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, and Lydia Ourahmane will make up half of the modern artists on display, which is a big deal. In a statement about the rehang, the museum said that it has been working for a long time to make its collection more diverse. This means that the gallery can show great women artists from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including many who have never been shown at Tate before.
One of the new pieces at Tate Britain by women artists is a full-length portrait by Joan Carlile, who is thought to have been the first woman in Britain to work as a professional oil painter. In 2016, the museum bought the piece. In 2021, Tate also bought 29 watercolors made in North Africa by Emily Sargent, who was the sister of the much better-known artist John Singer Sargent. In 1998, a family member found 440 paintings in a trunk. These paintings are part of a much bigger collection. The museum's director of the collection, British art, Polly Staple, said in a statement that the new displays at Tate Britain will show the museum's commitment to expanding the canon and making British art history more diverse. "In the past few years, we've added a lot of amazing works to Tate's collection. Soon, visitors will be able to see these new additions hanging next to well-known and well-loved classics."