Entertainment & Arts

Tate galleries given modern art collection

Lucian Freud's Girl in a Striped Nightdress
Image caption Freud's Girl in a Striped Nightdress is one of the artworks donated

The Tate galleries have been given a private collection of modern art that includes works by David Hockney, Lucian Freud and Jacob Epstein.

Although he did not place a value on the works, Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota said the gift "greatly enriched the national collection of art".

The nine works have been donated by Austria-based philanthropists Mercedes and Ian Stoutzker.

The works will go on show at Tate Britain in London later this year.

Freud's painting Girl in a Striped Nightdress, or Celia, dates from 1983-85 and shows his lover Celia Paul lying on a bed.

The Hockney work, Savings and Loan Building (1966), is one of a series of paintings he made of a glass building in Los Angeles.

Also included is Rachel Whiteread's commission Maquette for Trafalgar Square Plinth, a translucent cast of the square's fourth plinth that was displayed upon it for four months in 2001.

Other donated items include pieces by Peter Doig, George Shaw and Conrad Shawcross.

Announcing the donation at Tate Britain on Tuesday, Sir Nicholas said the gift had been an act of "pure philanthropy" and there was no tax benefit behind it.

The works represent two generations of British artists - artists from the 1960s and 1970s and younger ones who emerged in the 1990s.

Sir Nicholas said the Stoutzkers had approached him saying they had a number of works that could "fill some gaps" in the Tate's collection.

Image caption The Hockney work is one of a series he made in the 1960s

"In the current climate they were very keen to make this public rather than for it to come on their death, because they wanted to encourage others to give works to the national collection," he said.

"They see that as part of a general wish to encourage philanthropy in this country."

All nine works will be exhibited together at Tate Britain in October at the time of the Frieze Art Fair.

Sir Nicholas said the couple's decision had not been affected by the announcement in the Budget of a cap on tax relief for charitable giving.

"The conversation began well before the announcements," he said.

"But it would not have been affected by the announcement because they are not receiving any tax benefit from making this gift."

"There is a generous giving culture in this country," added Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.

"I'm sure that, as the Chancellor has said, he will listen to the representations about how the changes that he's proposed should be implemented."

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