Artist Rooms is an important public collection of international contemporary art, shared across the UK through a unique collaboration between the Art Fund, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland.
Assembled by collector and curator Anthony d’Offay over a 30 year period, the Artist Rooms collection comprises over 700 works by 37 artists, including those by Diane Arbus, Joseph Beuys and Damien Hirst. The Art Fund has been supporting a tour of these works around the UK as well as providing additional funds to help museums display and interpret the works and put on education events, bringing the art to life for the public.
Now in its fourth year, Artist Rooms on Tour is bringing 19 new exhibitions to 17 venues. The programme enables art lovers from Belfast to Bristol the chance to experience some of the most important works of internationally produced art by sharing the Artist Rooms collection with museums and galleries across the UK. For 2012, important new works have been donated to the collection including pieces by Vija Celmins, Martin Creed and Alex Katz.
Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland acquired the extraordinary collection of post-war and contemporary art in 2008 with financial support from the Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, and the Scottish and British Governments. Art collector and curator Anthony d’Offay received only the original cost of the collection and it is considered to be one of the most generous and imaginative gifts of art ever made to UK galleries.
The collection is jointly owned and managed by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland on behalf of the nation, and they are also responsible for managing the tour programme. The idea behind the collection is to show individual artists’ work in depth, in one or more ‘rooms’ of their work, and to show them all across the UK so that as many people as possible can experience them.