Wednesday 19th September was Ask a Curator day, with museums and galleries all over the world taking part, including Tate. The overwhelming majority of questions put to Tate curators were about it’s controversial sponsorship with relationship with BP, but Tate curators made only a single response.
To be fair, it’s not the curators that are responsible for decisions over BP’s sponsorship, but the event provided an opportunity for people to ask questions to them as representatives of Tate as a whole. It’s hard to cram nuance into 140 characters, but I hope that Helen Little and Catherine Wood (who were the curators answering questions on behalf of Tate) didn’t feel personally criticised for concerns being raised over decisions that were being taken by the directors and the trustees. Many of the questions that were being asked were also asking the curators for their personal feelings about the BP’s involvement, but this seems to be an ‘off limits’ subject for Tate staff in public. As someone suggested, what was really needed was an #AskADirector day.
Here, courtesy of Storify, are the many questions that got asked, and the one that got somewhat vaguely answered. Also worth checking out Bridget McKenzie’s more considered question in a blog asking curators if they are willing to be ‘a curator of the future.’