Situated on the ever serene and enchanting banks of the royal river Thames is the hub of modern and contemporary art, Tate Modern. Set up in the year 2000, this modern art gallery has managed to attract so many visitors that it has acquired the title of the most visited modern art gallery in the world with an approximate turn out of 4.7 million visitors per year. Tate, to be very precise is a network of four museums which are Tate Liverpool, Tate Britain and Tate St. Ives and Tate Online. Tate is not funded by the government but it does not fail to be called of the national interest of the United Kingdom. It does not only feature some of the great art works of Britain but the most popular and celebrated works of art around the globe; all after the 1900s until today.
Since the time it was set up, there have been many changes in the ways and methods of the arrangement of these works of art. This splendid building consists of seven levels. Earlier when it was set up, the levels ranged from 1 to 7 but after some changes took place, they were re- numbered as o to 6. Level six consists of the restaurants for the visitors whereas Level five has well- built rooms or rather the offices of the members of the art gallery. Levels two, three and four are where the exhibition art takes place. There are different ways in which the works have been divided on the different floors on the basis of various themes.
The speciality of the Tate Modern lies in the fact that there has never been any chronological order in which the art works have been arranged or displayed. Rather there are various themes and the works are displayed under these themes. After the third re- hang in the year 2012; the major themes were Poetry and Drama, Structure and Clarity, Energy and Process, Transformed Vision and Setting the Scene. Level one connects the museum to the direct entrance from Thames. It also has various shops. Last but not the least, level zero is the place where the shops are located. Most importantly it has the Turbine Hall Tanks. The tickets for the Turbine Hall are purchaesd from this level itself.
According to the latest themes and their placement in the museum, Level four place works on the themes of ‘Structure and Clarity’ and ‘Energy and Process’. One of the temporary sections of the Tate Modern is found on this floor which is presently show- casing the works of the Post- American photographer Harry Callahan. Level three is based on the theme of ‘Transformed Vision’ and the temporary work of an artist placed here was that of Mira Schendel. It was lately removed in the mid January of this year. Level two is based on the theme of ‘Poetry and Drama’ and the temporary work that was lately removed in the first week of March, this year was by Paul Kee.
Level one, besides being the river entrance level, it has other things worth noticing. Firstly, it has the Project Space. Project Space was inaugurated quiet recently in November 2013. It is a collaborative effort of exhibition between the Tate and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade. Besideds this, it also has a seminar hall and the Starr Auditorium. The Starr Auditorium is used to host myriad screening and other events. The Turbine Hall on Level Zero has quiet an interesting story. It was originally set- up as a temporary means of attracting visitors to the museum, for a span of first five years. It became so popular that it continues to exist today as well.
The Turbine Hall is used to show- case beautifully made, large, specially- commisioned contemporary works of some of the artists. These are a part pf temporary display as they are found only from March till October, every year. Some of the prominent ones amongst them are The Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson, Embankment by Raechel Whiteread and Shibboleth by Doris Salcedo.
Being an abode of the modern contemporary art work does not mean there are no arrangements of food and drinks to enjoy the tour to the museum even more. At each and every level of the art gallery there is something to eat and shop for. Level six has a restaurant which offers delicacies one cannot say no to. Besides, it also has all flavours of drinks available. Level three has the Espresso Bar. The beauty of this place lies in it’s location. It has two beautiful balcony tables facing the riverside. Besides this there are shops on levels one, two and three. Every kind of souvenir, post cards , gift items, items of home décor are found here.
Besides these larger than life art- works, shops and restaurants; the Tate Modern provides options to the visitors to visit the art gallery the way they want to. The museum has provisions for Private as well as public tours. It has a tour package for two as well, which is for the couples. Unlike other art galleries, there are no restrictions in Tate Modern on visitors getting clicked and posing near the art works. The visitors are also allowed to talk and discuss about the piece of art they are seeing. If someone wants to go all alone, without a guide, then the Ttae allows that as well. There is no limit to the time span for which a family is visiting. The family can take a tour for as long as it wants.
Wehat more can be expected from an art gallery like this? There is nothing that it does not avail. It has everything that people would want on their tours. Being on Tate will make you feel proud of being a part of this Earth and also of belonging to a race which has witnessed such great artists time and again. Tate Modern and it’s art works are an example of how beautiful works are created using beautiful ideas and thoughts.