We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The building is great”

Tate Gallery St. Ives
Ranked #24 of 62 things to do in St Ives
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Tate St Ives features work by iconic 20th century artists who lived and worked in the town, including Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, demonstrating the role of St Ives in the story of modern art. This is combined with a new programme of large-scale seasonal shows, beginning with sculptor Rebecca Warren’s first major UK exhibition.
Reviewed 24 November 2013

The building is worth visiting - let alone the exhibition. An exhibition called Aquatopia was on - which was really good - but also which meant the little of the permanent collection was on display. But the location of the museum is wonderful.

Thank R0binsRule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (1,426)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

817 - 821 of 1,426 reviews

Reviewed 13 November 2013

Many of the exhibits in the Tate St Ives are unbelievably beautiful, some are quite extra-ordinary and a few are just too weird to understand, but well worth the the entrance fee and the cafe on the roof is rather good as well !

Thank Christopher T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2013

Whilst visiting St Ives once again we thought we'd finally give the Tate a try, unfortunately for us & possibly for the Tate itself we caught the Aquatopia exhibition.
Whilst the building is indeed impressive, given its purpose i'd have expected to be enthralled by what was inside not by the much better views to be had looking out from the Tate.
Firstly I was underwhelmed by the exhibits, secondly by the quantity & thirdly & just as importantly by the staff.
A welcoming smile would have been nice, an acknowledgement that we were actually there to share in their enjoyment of the place but alas the staff seem to give the impression that you are an unwelcome guest in the home that they have filled with their own preciousness, if there could be such a word!
Art of course is subjective as are individuals views on their visits but having visited St Ives so many times over several decades I'm left with the feeling that the Tate doesn't belong in such a warm-hearted place & neither do it's cold & stand-offish staff.
Combining the unwelcoming atmosphere with the quality of this particular exhibition we left disappointed & with no plans for a future visit, something that should concern whoever funds this place as surely the focus should be on the satisfaction & pleasure of the paying public & not the self-satisfaction of it's staff.

4  Thank Flip351
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Hmm. Went to see Aquatopia - which I think was just about worth the money, at a push. However, I've seldom encountered a place so baffling in its lack of basic customer service. With three children, the admission can end up costing a lot, and it wasn't clear at all from the prices that children under 17 are, in fact, free. Having said that, the quality of what was on offer was patchy.

Some superb items but a video with various words floating around - the word "pretentious" having unfathomably been missed off. And unpleasant sound, from uncontrolled bass to a recording of Carl Sagan that would have been improved had he not been wearing a large biscuit tin on his head prior to recording this item (at least, that's what it sounded like). One of my children sat on what looked like a seat, only to be told off. And earlier on, we were intercepted by someone who explained at length how hard they were working and that's why they had to check the ticket during our visit. The whole thing seemed a bit clueless. I wondered also (St Ives being full of local artists) how the town felt about having this outpost of the London art scene plonked in its midst.

It seems half-baked and a bit clueless.

2  Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2013

Firstly I thought the building was stunning and beautifully designed. The views from the cafe and the huge front windows were breathtaking especially on a sunny November day. We had lunch in the cafe of locally caught mackerel and Cornish cider, it was good quality and the staff were polite and helpful.
The aquatopia exhibit is interesting, showing you artists interpretations and inspirations from the sea through the ages, including some old masters right up to today's contemporary artists.
It's well worth seeing the Barbara Hepworth museum as well.

Thank Karentreefern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Tate Gallery St. Ives also viewed


Been to Tate Gallery St. Ives? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing