L.L. Diamond

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One thing I love about the United Kingdom is that most of the museums are free, and this includes the National Gallery and the Tate Modern. While the subject matter of both galleries slightly overlaps, the focus of each is very different with the National Gallery displaying art from the beginning of what we define as art to modern times while the Tate focuses on strictly contemporary art.

The National Gallery sits at the head of Trafalgar Square in a grand Palladian style building. The interior is just as beautiful as much of what is housed in it with marble columns and floors throughout parts. While not nearly as large as the Louvre, it is still a huge building with a great deal of artwork. We walked through looking at everything and then backtracked, asking those who worked there about specific pieces we’d missed.

On occasion certain rooms tend to be closed, which happened the first time I went to the National Gallery. Instead, we toured the portrait gallery that day instead.

The Tate Modern sits on the Southbank side of the Thames just in front of Millennium Bridge. If you’ve seen Mission Impossible: Fallout, Henry Cavill crosses Millennium Bridge and goes through a door (That doesn’t exist in real life by the way. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble!) in the tower of the Tate Modern and meets a helicopter at the top. There’s even YouTube footage of Tom Cruise being hoisted to the top of the tower for a shot.



Anyway! Tate Modern houses art dating from the beginning of the 1900s until today. It’s collection is vast and covers so many different genres and political messages. It’s definitely an interesting collection, even if you do not typically care for contemporary art. One of the coolest parts of the Tate was the large floor in Turbine Hall by Tania Bruguera. You take your shoes off and you can make imprints with your hands or feet, but unfortunately, you need a large number of people to reveal what is underneath the flooring that reacts to body heat. While strange sounds emirate from these huge speakers and almost echo through the hall. I wish I could find my photos (I’ll be honest. They’ve disappeared. I’ll post some from my husband’s when I get the chance.) so I have a link to an explanation of the installation.


I found my photos from the Tate!


Next up: Brighton!


2 thoughts on “National Gallery London and the Tate Modern

  1. Glynis says:

    Oh Leslie! I really struggled watching that video! 😱. I used to be ok with heights however I now struggle looking out of my bedroom window 😳. That was something else and not even a railing!!!
    I have been to London a few times, the last being in 2000 when my daughter was living there. We went to the V&A and I loved it, especially the fashion part – loved the costumes and they also had a special Mary Quant exhibition which brought back so many memories!
    I’ve never been to either of these museums but who knows? One day maybe!
    Thank you for sharing this 😘


    1. I’ve been to the Victoria and Albert. So many museums here. It’s hard to get to everything, but I’m trying 🙂 Thanks, Glynis!


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