Studio International

Published 12/03/2002

No, not the Turner Prize. What Sandy Nairne, Director of Programmes at the Tate Gallery, was referring to was actually the final solution for the Turner Bequest. The 30,000 works on paper and 350 canvasses left to the nation on Turner’s death in 1851, was of a scale that could not be solved physically by a single building. But the web has provided the ideal solution. So, following a 1 million investment from the National Lottery together with the Tate, March will see internet access to the entire collection. In some respects, enhancement facilities on-line allow a closer inspection than direct access to the work itself can provide. The whole event is part of an even larger project which places the entire Tate collections online. What the Tate now hopes to achieve is beyond its direct control, the building in of works from all owners worldwide of the remainder of Turner’s output. JMW Turner’s original ambition with his bequest has at last been achieved by means of a technology beyond even his imagination.