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Anthony d’Offay in 2008. Photo: Flickr.
Anthony d’Offay in 2008. Photo: Flickr.

Tate Cuts Ties with Disgraced Dealer Anthony D’Offay

England’s Tate museum group and Anthony d’Offay have announced that they are terminating their relationship in the wake of multiple sexual-harassment accusations against the retired dealer. The museum will also return works that were on loan from d’Offay, as well as those it borrowed from a company registered in his name.

“Tate and Anthony d’Offay have agreed to end their relationship,” Tate and d’Offay said in a statement released on Friday.

Allegations against the 80-year-old d’Offay, a towering figure in the contemporary art world, were first reported in the Observer in 2018. The complaints, registered by women who had worked for or with him, included groping, forcible kissing, and inappropriate workplace behavior, said to have taken place between 1997 and 2004. Additionally, a police investigation was opened after a woman reported receiving malicious texts from him. D’Offay has consistently denied all allegations.

Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland ended their decade-long relationship with the dealer in the wake of the accusations; before the scandal broke publicly, he stepped down as curator ex-officio of the Artist Rooms series, a string of solo presentations featuring works from his massive collection of modern and contemporary art, which he had sold to the institutions at a greatly reduced price. Just months later, in 2019, the museums quietly began working with d’Offay again, but not quietly enough to avoid the notice and subsequent wrath of activists and indeed the general public.

Among those calling for the dissolution of Tate’s relationship with d’Offay have been artist Jane Lawson and collective Girlforum (now industria), who in 2019 circulated on open letter calling for d’Offay’s jettisoning. The clamor for his removal continued amid turbulent times for Tate, which in recent months spurred an outcry with its decision to slash some 300 jobs from its commercial arm.

Tate has said it will remove d’Offay’s name from all signage in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. The Artist Rooms collection will remain unaffected.