The Tate is an institution that houses the United Kingdom's national collection of British art, and international modern and contemporary art. It is a network of four art museums: Tate Britain, London (until 2000 known as the Tate Gallery, founded 1897), Tate Liverpool (founded 1988), Tate St Ives, Cornwall (founded 1993) and Tate Modern, London (founded 2000), with a complementary website, Tate Online (created 1998). Tate is not a government institution, but its main sponsor is the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Tate is used as the operating name for the corporate body, which was established by the Museums and Galleries Act 1992 as The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery.
The gallery was founded in 1897, as the National Gallery of British Art. When its role was changed to include the national collection of modern art as well as the national collection of British art, in 1932, it was renamed the Tate Gallery after sugar magnate Henry Tate of Tate & Lyle, who had laid the foundations for the collection. The Tate Gallery was housed in the current building occupied by Tate Britain, which is situated in Millbank, London. In 2000, the Tate Gallery transformed itself into the current-day Tate, or the Tate Modern, which consists of a federation of four museums: Tate Britain, which displays the collection of British art from 1500 to the present day; Tate Modern, which is also in London, houses the Tate's collection of British and international modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the present day. Tate Liverpool has the same purpose as Tate Modern but on a smaller scale, and Tate St Ives displays modern and contemporary art by artists who have connections with the area. All four museums share the Tate Collection. One of the Tate's most publicised art events is the awarding of the annual Turner Prize, which takes place at Tate Britain. (Source: Wikipedia)