Former Tate director Alan Bowness dies aged 93 - Museums Association

Former Tate director Alan Bowness dies aged 93

Bowness was the director of the Tate Gallery between 1980 and 1988
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Sir Alan Bowness with Piet Mondrian's 'Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red' at Tate, 1980
Sir Alan Bowness with Piet Mondrian's 'Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red' at Tate, 1980

Former Tate Gallery director Alan Bowness has died aged 93.

Bowness, who was also an art historian and critic, was the director of the Tate Gallery between 1980 and 1988.

During his time at Tate, Bowness created the Clore Wing at the Tate Gallery on Millbank and was involved in the development of Tate Liverpool, which opened in 1988. He also began the preparations for Tate St Ives, which opened in 1993.

The Turner Prize was established under Bowness’s directorship in 1984 as an initiative to foster interest in contemporary British art.

As an art critic in the 1950s and 1960s, Bowness wrote for The Observer, The Times Literary Supplement and The Burlington magazine, among others. He became a regional art officer for the arts council in 1956, responsible for South West England. He also began teaching at the Courtauld Institute of Art in the 1950s.

After retiring from the Tate, Bowness became the director of the Henry Moore Foundation, setting up the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, Yorkshire. He was made a CBE in 1976 and knighted in 1988. He was also an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Art, the Courtauld Institute of Art and Downing College, Cambridge.

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