The Tate Americas Foundation is an independent charity that supports the work of Tate in the United Kingdom. It does this by acquiring works of art – by gift or acquisition – and by raising money to grant to Tate.
The charity was founded in 1987 when Sir Edwin and Lady Manton created the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, a restricted endowment to acquire works of art from North and South America for presentation to Tate. For over 25 years, this endowment has purchased seminal works by artists including John Baldessari, Louise Bourgeois, Philip Guston, Roni Horn, Joan Jonas, Christian Marclay, Bruce Nauman, Hélio Oiticica, Cy Twombly, Cindy Sherman, David Smith, Jeff Wall and Lawrence Weiner.
The Tate Americas Foundation formally opened offices in New York in 1999 to strengthen links with the North and South American art communities. Since that time it has raised over $100 million. It launched the North American Acquisitions Committee in 2001 and has acquired works from artists including Roni Horn, Louise Lawler, Josiah McElheny, Raymond Pettibon, Robert Smithson, Kara Walker and Christopher Wool. The Latin American Acquisitions Committee was formed in 2003 and has acquired works from artists including Maria Fernada Cardoso, Lygia Clark, Gego, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Guillermo Kuitca, Cildo Meireles and Hélio Oiticica.
Collectors have made generous gifts of art which now grace the walls of Tate Modern and Tate Britain. Some of these gifts include works by John Constable, Dan Flavin, Gilbert & George, David Smith, Ellsworth Kelly, John Currin, Alice Neel and Richard Tuttle.
In addition to acquiring art, Tate Americas Foundation makes grants to Tate using funds that it has raised. It supports numerous programs at Tate particularly in the fields of scholarship, exhibitions and education.