Every artwork has a story. And behind every painting or sculpture or work of art is an artist, who lived, or lives, a whole life outside of the work. These stories aren’t always clear, or examined in depth in a gallery or an exhibition. Plaques and descriptions provide some background and illustration, but the full story can escape you. A guided tour, however, can bring works to life and add further details to the works you already loved. Tate Britain’s LGBTQIA+ tours are doing just that, adding an oft-missing queer historical lens to the affair.
A regular programme of LGBTQIA+ tours is operating at Tate Britain, with extra sessions through February for LGBT+ History Month. The tours are led by volunteer guides with lived experience in the works and themes they are discussing. And they don’t just encompass contemporary works. Oh, no. The tour traces all the way back to Tate Britain’s historic collection (works from 1540-1910) in addition to the contemporary collection (1930-present day).
The tours are an explicit attempt to “spotlight narratives of those less visible in Tate’s collection through the lens of gender identity and sexuality, as well as highlight intersectional artworks and artists”. They make up just a small portion of the Tate’s constant and ongoing efforts to amplify marginalized voices in the art world.
How to attend the LGBTQIA+ Tours
Tickets are available on the day from the ticket desk, on a first-come first-served basis. Each tour has a limited capacity, and they run once from 3-4PM on the day. The next few tour dates can be found below. Extra dates are available through February in recognition of LGBTQ+ History Month. Following these dates, it’s likely the tours will go back to their usual fortnightly schedule.
March 1Head to the website to find out more and to see further dates as they’re announced.
📍 The LGBTQIA+ Tours take place at Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P 4RG.
🚇 The nearest station is Pimlico.