Museums

Number's up at Tate

Tate Britain has quietly abolished room numbers—and the idea is do without them even after the grand reopening in May, following a major refurbishment. One Tate officer told us that numbers are regarded as “unfriendly”. This may seem a minor point, but if one asks at the information desk where to find Constable’s Flatford Mill, 1816-17, it is much easier being directed to a sequential room number, rather than searching for the “1810” gallery. More seriously, in an emergency, such as a visitor fainting, it is certainly simpler to call for assistance in a clearly numbered room. Tate staff will continue to have their own “secret” numbers for the galleries, but these will not be marked in the rooms or on maps. A Tate spokeswoman confirms that the plan is to do away with public numbers, replacing them with a new “way-finding system”, based on chronology. But, she adds, no final decision has been made.

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Comments

29 Jan 13
14:36 CET

JOSH, LONDON

I bet most people don't even notice the room numbers! And it's a straightforward, easy way to find a particular work. So instead of being told "it's in Room 9" it'll be something convoluted, changing every rehanging.

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