Tate Liverpool will shutter on October 16 ahead of a planned £29.7 million ($35.1 million) restoration of its Royal Albert Dock home. The refresh of the converted warehouse is being partially paid for by the UK government’s Levelling Up Fund, which will cover roughly one-third of projected costs. The money represents half the amount won by the museum in a joint £20 million bid with National Museums Liverpool the joint Work is expected to be completed in 2026; Tate Liverpool will in the meantime host off-site events and projects; emblematic of this effort is the institution’s recent inauguration of a mobile art gallery: a truck carrying works from the museum’s collection that was driven about the city.
“Since Tate Liverpool opened thirty-five years ago, the experiences our audiences want to have, and the kind of work artists want to make, have both changed significantly,” said museum director Helen Legg, noting that it was “time for us to reimagine the gallery for the twenty-first century.”
A museum spokesman told the BBC that the renovation is meant to produce “an environment that is flexible and inviting and able to host people, art and ideas in equal measure.”
Tate Liverpool opened in 1989, seven years after the Toxteth riots that pitted local Black citizens against the Merseyside police force: Its inauguration was part of a program aimed at revitalizing the region, coming on the heels of the Scarman Report, which acknowledged the economic and social privation that led to the uprising, part of the widespread 1981 England riots. Since its launch, the museum has hosted YBA Tracey Emin’s infamous My Bed of 1998; Minimalist giant Carl Andre’s 1966 Equivalent VIII, which drew jeers in the press for comprising nothing more than two layers of bricks placed one atop the other; and major exhibitions of works ranging from Leonora Carrington to JMW Turner to Andy Warhol.