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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : Tate Modern : Louise Nevelson

Today we arrive Tate Modern – Louise Nevelson, for our weekly Museum Guide excursion, led by Divvya Nirula. As we journey through the gallery, we also consider leadership and the Tate. And acquaint ourselves with 2 of its former directors. James Manson & Charles Aitken.

This gallery showcases the monochromatic sculptural works of Louise Nevelson. Presented here are our top two must-see objects on view here. Next time you visit the museum, do not miss these!

1. An American Tribute to, 1960 – 1964, by Louise Nevelson
2. Black Wall, 1959, by Louise Nevelson

image credit for artworks : Tate Modern

Some fun facts about the Museum : James Manson & Charles Aitken

  • As humourously described on the Tate website, Sir John Rothenstein was responsible for ‘dragging the British art world screaming and kicking into the twentieth century’. He was the 5th director of the Tate, starting 1938.
  • Before Rothenstein, James Bolivar Manson was director from for 8 years – from 1930 to 1938. In retrospect, Manson’s leadership of seems like an interesting era in the history of the Tate. On the one hand, he was responsible for adopting the name ‘Tate Gallery’. He even installed electric lights for the first time in 1935. However, Manson hated and therefore rejected Modern art. At a time when the gallery could have been acquiring important masterpieces. They were excluding them from the narrative instead. Notably, Manson was an artist himself. He had a notorious reputation of being unpredictable and eventually spiraling into alcoholism. Many consider Manson as the least popular director the Tate has had.
  • Manson was preceded by Charles Aitken, who was director for almost 2 decades before him, staring 1911. Aitken was passionate about presenting art in democratic spaces. And encouraging the masses to interact with art. He had previously served as Director of the Whitechapel Gallery. Needless to say, he came in armed with much experience.
  • During Aitken’s directorship, the Tate started to charge an entrance fee. This was to increase financial stability in the organisation. His main contribution was his ability to raise funds for exhibitions and acquisitions.

A Final Thought :

Between these 2 successive directors – Manson and Aitken – we see a world of difference in their styles of leadership. And the impact that they had on the Tate.


Visit Art From Us Archive for Museum Guide collated by Divvya Nirula. Here you shall find more suggestions on where you should visit next. And what you should see there.

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