These LGBTQIA+ Tours Take You On A Journey Through Tate Britain’s Queer History

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. Plaques and descriptions provide some background and illustration, but the full story can escape you. A guided tour, however, can bring life to works you may not have understood or appreciated before, and add further details to the works you already loved. Tate Britain’s LGBTQIA+ tours bring an oft-missing queer lens to the affair.

The Cholmondeley Ladies, an artwork that could be part of a Tate Britain LGBTQIA+ tour
Unknown artist, Britain, The Cholmondeley Ladies c.1600–1. Tate

Every fortnight at Tate Britain a new, unique LGBTQIA+ tour is on offer. The tours are led by volunteer guides with lived experience in the works and themes they are discussing. And they don’t merely touch on contemporary works. Tours explore a wide variety of works, both from Tate Britain’s historic collection (works from 1540-1910) and the contemporary collection (1930-present day).

David Hockney - A Bigger Splash, an artwork that could be featured in one of the LGBTQIA+ tours
David Hockney, A Bigger Splash 1967. Tate © David Hockney

The LGBTQIA+ tours that Tate Britain offers 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.

Ithell Colquhoun- Syclla, an artwork potentially featured in one of the LGBTQIA+ tours
Ithell Colquhoun Scylla 1938. Tate © Spire Healthcare, © Noise Abatement Society, © Samaritans

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 11am-12pm. The dates of the next few months of the tour can be found below:

July 16, 2022

August 3, 2o22

August 20, 2022

September 7, 2022

September 17, 2022

Head to the website to find out more and to see further dates as they’re announced.