TATE GALLERY'S [Pounds sterling]100M BONANZA; MAJOR ART GIFTS DESPITE RECESSION; SEROTA HAILS THE 'SPIRIT OF PHILANTHROPY'; A Rich Legacy for Future Generations'

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Byline: Louise Jury Chief Arts Correspondent

THE Tate is defying the recession thanks to an astonishing series of gifts and bequests, it was revealed today.

The gallery acquired almost [pounds sterling]100 million of new art in the past year.

This figure includes [pounds sterling]64 million of gifts from artists and collectors, as well as bequests.

Among the gifts was the Artist Rooms collection, given jointly to the Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland by London dealer Anthony d'Offay.

The windfall also covers the largest work David Hockney has yet produced, Bigger Trees Near Warter 2007, as well as gifts from Michael Craig-Martin, who taught many of the Young British Artists, and a seminal film work, Michael Hamburger 2007, by Tacita Dean.

The Tate's director Sir Nicholas Serota said: "It is remarkable that, despite the current economic climate, the spirit of philanthropy remains undiminished.

"Tate has been extremely fortunate to benefit from many exceptional gifts over the past year.

"We must make sure that our current visitors and future generations gain from the richness of the legacy that this generosity provides."

While the donated works were double the value of the pieces it was able to buy, important purchases included the Peter Paul Rubens sketch for the Banqueting Hall ceiling in Whitehall -- the Tate's first Rubens.

Altogether, there were 589 works acquired solely by the Tate in 2008-09 with another 1,126 shared with Scotland as part of the d'Offay deal. …