Online Encyclopedia

BART SIR HENRY TATE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 449 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BART
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SIR HENRY TATE
  . (1819-1899),
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English merchant and founder of the
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National Gallery of
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British
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Art, was born at Chorley,
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Lancashire, in 1819 . His
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father, a minister of religion, put him into business- in Liverpool . He became a prosperous
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sugar-broker, and about 1874 removed to
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London, where he greatly increased the operations of his
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firm and made " Tate's Cube Sugar " known all over the
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world . He had early in his career begun to devote large sums of
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money to philanthropic and educational purposes . He gave £42,000 to the Liverpool University College, founded in 1881; and a still larger sum to the Liverpool hospitals . Then, when he came to London, he presented four
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free public
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libraries to the parish of
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Lambeth . His
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interest in art came with later years . He was at first merely a
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regular buyer of pictures, for which he built a large private gallery in his house at
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Streatham . Gradually his gallery came to contain one of the best private collections of
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modern pictures in England, and the owner naturally began to consider what should be done with it after his
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death . It had always been his intention to leave it to the nation, but in the way of carrying out this generous
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desire there stood several obstacles . The National Gallery could not have accepted more than a selection from Tate's pictures, which were not all up to the standard of Trafalgar Square; and even YXVi .

15when he offered to build a new gallery for them, it was found difficult to secure a suitable site . What Tate offered was to spend £80,000 upon a

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building if the government would
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pro-vide the ground; and in 1892 this offer was accepted . A new gallery, controlled by the Trustees of the National Gallery, was built on the site of Milibank Prison . The gallery was opened on 21st
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July 1897, and a large addition to it was completed just before the donor died . It contained sixty-five pictures presented by him; nearly all the English pictures from the National Gallery painted within the previous eighty years; the pictures
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purchased by the Royal Academy under the Chantrey Bequest, which had previously hung in South
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Kensington Museum; and seventeen large
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works given to the nation by Mr G . F . Watts, R.A . Mr Tate was created a
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baronet in the
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year after the Tate Gallery had been opened . He died at Streatham on the 5th of December 1899 .

End of Article: BART SIR HENRY TATE
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