After a year of discussion, the National Gallery and the Tate are nearing agreement on new guidelines covering the “1900 divide” between the two collections for international art. This follows meetings between museum directors Dr Charles Saumarez Smith and Sir Nicholas Serota.
As The Art Newspaper revealed, the National Gallery feels that the 1900 division, accepted in 1996, under the terms of which the National Gallery does not collect work made after that date, is too rigid (November 2005, pp1, 7). This arrangement led to 50 Tate paintings going on long-term loan to the National Gallery, with 14 passing from the Tate to the National Gallery.
Under the proposed new agreement, the 1900 date will remain, but there will be considerably more flexibility, allowing the two galleries to acquire or borrow pictures which fall on the other side of the divide. The agreement is expected to be approved by National Gallery and Tate trustees by the end of the year.
Originally appeared in the Art Newspaper as 'New agreement allows for more flexibility'