When the Tate Britain unveils the rehanging of its galleries on May 23, women artists from the 17th century to the present will be more prominently featured, the museum announced earlier this week.
The new displays from national collection of British art will showcase over 800 work by more than 350 artists, including favorites, recent discoveries, and new commissions, including several large-scale contemporary installations. Notably, half the contemporary artists on display will be women, including Bridget Riley, Tracey Emin, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami and Lydia Ourahmane.
The museum’s statement on the rehang said its “longstanding commitment to diversifying its collection means the gallery can also showcase great women artists from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including many who have never been shown at Tate before.”
Recent acquisitions of female artists that will be newly on display at Tate Britain include a full-length portrait by Joan Carlile, believed to be the first woman in Britain to work as a professional oil painter. The museum acquired the work in 2016. In 2021, Tate also acquired 29 watercolors by Emily Sargent, the sister of the much better-known John Singer Sargent, made on her travels in North Africa. The paintings are part of a much larger collection of 440 discovered in a trunk by a family member in 1998.
“Tate Britain’s new displays will embody our commitment to expanding the canon and diversifying British art history,” Polly Staple, the museum’s director of collection, British art, said in a statement. “In recent years we have brought so many incredible works into Tate’s collection and visitors will soon be able to see these new acquisitions hung alongside more familiar and much-loved classics.”