Francis Carnwath (2)

Over the years, I have heard lots of subtly different accounts as to who it was who first identified the old Bankside Power Station as a potential site for Tate Modern, the honours shared equally between Gavin Stamp, who loved its architecture and was making a film about it when he suggested it as a potential location for what was then going to be called the Tate Gallery of Modern Art, Francis Carnwath, and Nick Serota. But I have discovered one of the more vivid descriptions of exactly what happened in a collection of memories of Carnwath in which Suzanne Freeman who worked for Nick Serota described how ‘Of course we all remember quite clearly the day Francis went down to Bankside, with his English Heritage hat on, and had the opportunity to see inside of the Power Station and the turbine floor for the first time.   I remember how animated he was on his return to the office at Millbank.   He was excited about the building and the open space surrounding it.   He loved that the power station was also on the river (linking it with Millbank), with views over the Thames to St. Pauls and the City.   He could not wait to tell Nick about it…’

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