Art: Tote's Treat

An 1892 Punch cartoon showed a servant of Her Majesty's Treasury waving aside a bearded gentleman with a bundle of pictures. The caption: "Much obliged, but we are a nation of shopkeepers. We don't want any art today, thank you." The snubbed picture-pedlar, as every Punch reader knew, was a Lancashire-born sugar baron named Henry Tate. He had just offered 60 contemporary paintings to Britain's National Gallery—and had been turned down. Five years later, he retaliated millionaire-fashion by building Britain a brand-new gallery and throwing in his collection as a bonus.

The Queen's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!