Will Elton John donate classic photography works to Tate?

More than 150 modernist images drawn from the musician’s collection will go on show later this year


A show of key 20th-century photographs drawn from Elton John’s collection opening at Tate Modern in November could lead to other joint initiatives aimed at boosting the museum’s holdings and programme.

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection (10 November-7 May 2017) will include more than 150 works dating from the 1920s to the 1950s. Edward Steichen, Alexandr Rodchenko and Berenice Abbot are among the 60 artists represented. John, who began collecting photography in 1991, owns around 7,000 works spanning the 20th and 21st centuries.

The exhibition “marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between Tate and the Sir Elton John Collection”, says a press statement. Asked about the possibility of future joint projects, or possible donations to the collection, a Tate spokeswoman says: “Discussions are ongoing with Sir Elton John and [his husband] David Furnish about making some key pieces from their collection available to the British public on a more permanent basis.”

Elton John says in a statement: “It is a great honour for David and I to lend part of our collection to Tate Modern for this groundbreaking exhibition. The modernist era in photography is one of the key moments within the medium and collecting work from this period has brought me great joy over the last 25 years.”

A selection of portraits by Man Ray depicting artists Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Max Ernst will also be shown in the forthcoming exhibition. Imogen Cunningham’s Magnolia Blossom, Tower of Jewels (1925) and Tina Modotti’s Bandelier, Corn and Sickle (1927) will feature in a section dedicated to still-lifes.