Tate and Anthony d’Offay, Dealer Accused of Sexual Harassment, Terminate Relationship

The Tate museum network in England said it has cut ties with Anthony d’Offay, a dealer who was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women in 2018. The museum network has faced pushback from the British art community over the past year after it quietly resumed contact with d’Offay following a brief period in which Tate said it would not work with d’Offay.

“Tate and Anthony d’Offay have agreed to end their relationship,” Tate and d’Offay said in a statement released on Friday. Tate also said it would return works that were on loan from d’Offay and a company registered in his name.

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A 2018 Observer report first revealed the allegations of sexual harassment. The accusations came from several women—all of whom were not named in the report—who had worked with d’Offay; two had been employed by his London gallery, which closed in 2001. The women described alleged instances of groping, forced kissing, and inappropriate workplace behavior. The report also revealed that Metropolitan Police were investigating d’Offay for sending malicious messages.

“I am appalled these allegations are being levelled against me and I categorically deny the claims being made,” d’Offay said at the time. A spokesperson for the dealer later denied knowledge of an ongoing police investigation into him.

D’Offay’s relationship with Tate began in 2008, seven years after he shuttered his gallery. Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland purchased 725 artworks from his collection of modern and contemporary art for a reduced price of £26.5 million. That trove of works has been exhibited as part of the museums’ “Artist Rooms” series, which is dedicated to solo presentations.

After the allegations against d’Offay emerged, Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland severed their relationship with the dealer and said he was no longer an ex-officio curator of the “Artist Rooms” collection. In 2019, the two museums resumed their working relationship with d’Offay; when asked by reporters about the police investigation later that year, the museums said they were unaware that it was being conducted.

ARTnews has contacted the Metropolitan Police to request further information about the investigation.

The public outcry over the museum’s resumed ties with d’Offay has been fierce in the British art world. An open letter by artist Jane Lawson, the collective Girlforum, and others began circulating widely in 2019, and the museums have faced calls from activists, artists, curators, and more ever since to terminate their relationship with d’Offay.

A frequent point of contention for activists was that d’Offay’s name was listed in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Tate said it would remove all signage referring to d’Offay in Friday’s statement. The “Artist Rooms” collection “will not be affected by these changes,” Tate said.

Source: artnews.com

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