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Tate St Ives

Tate St Ives
Written by Roma Publications

Tate St Ives

Tate St Ives has been part of the Tate family since 1993 when it opened in the Cornish seaside town, celebrating the rich history of modern art. One of the most popular galleries in Cornwall, Tate St Ives recently underwent a significant transformation to double the space for showing art. The project, which officially opened to the public in October 2017, added almost 600 square metres of galleries and created spectacular new studios for learning activities.

Designed by the award-winning Jamie Fobert Architects, the expansion has brought a number of benefits to the gallery. First and foremost it now has enough space to accommodate the quarter of a million visitors it welcomes each year, over three times the number for which it was originally designed. Tate St Ives is also now able to give a permanent presence to the iconic 20th century artists who lived and worked in the town including Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth and can stay open all year round.

The new gallery is sunk into the cliff alongside the original building and is able to offer artists and curators a column-free space lit by six huge skylights. With a public garden on its roof, connected to the cliff above and the beach below, the new building also adds a collection care studio, loading bay, staff offices and visitor facilities. Clad in handmade ceramic tiles with a blue-green glaze, the building is designed to reflect the changing colours of the sky and sea.

To meet growing demand, new spaces for learning activities and events have been created. Evans and Shalev, the architects of the original Tate St Ives building, returned to add a new space for hands-on workshops and family activities, a studio for visitors to explore archival and digital material about the art on display, and a spectacular glazed studio on the roof terrace with views out over the sea. The existing galleries have also been refurbished and integrated into these additions.

The new Tate St Ives is a £20 million project made possible by the support of a range of public funders, as well as a number of private organisations and individuals. Maria Balshaw, Director, Tate said:

“These beautiful galleries showcase some of the extraordinary artists who made St Ives their home across the twentieth century, as well as bringing some of the world’s most exciting contemporary art to Cornwall with Rebecca Warren’s epic exhibition. Tate St Ives is a much loved part of the local community and of the Tate family, and I look forward to it playing an expanded role in Britain’s cultural landscape.”

Anne Barlow, Artistic Director, Tate St Ives added:

“This is an enormously exciting time to be joining the team at Tate St Ives. Our expanded exhibitions and learning programmes offer wonderful new opportunities for artists and audiences, and I look forward to building on this in the coming years on a local, national and international level.”

The original building is now dedicated to a display exploring modern art in St Ives and its relationship with the wider world. To find out more about Tate St Ives, please visit

Tate St Ives




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