The Gallery of Lost Art offers online visitors a virtual exhibition of some of the most important artwork from the last century which has been lost to the public.
More than twenty works by big name artists - Lucian Freud, Tracey Emin, Georges Braques, Rachel Whiteread and Joan Miro to name but a few - comprise the initial show with more to be added over the coming months.
The loss of each work is a story in itself - mislaid, destroyed in a warehouse fire, stolen, forgotten after an exhibition, wrecked as part of a performance, erased or painted over - and can be just as revealing in terms of our artistic values as what has survived or been protected.
Curator, Jennifer Mundy explains:
"Museums normally tell stories through the objects they have in their collections. But this exhibition focuses on significant works that cannot be seen. It explores the potential of the digital realm to bring these lost artworks back to life - not as virtual replicas but through the stories surrounding them."
Jane Burton, Head of Content and Creative Director for Tate Media adds:
"The Gallery of Lost Art is a ghost museum, a place of shadows and traces. It could only ever exist virtually. The challenge was to come up with a way of showcasing these artworks and telling their stories, when, in many cases, poor-quality images are all we have left of them. The result is a new way of looking at art: an immersive website in the form of a vast warehouse, where visitors can explore the evidence laid out for them."
You can explore the full collection at galleryoflostart.com but here are some teaser tales so you can see EXACTLY how fascinating this project is!
Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917, replica 1964
Marcel Duchamp's iconic <em>Fountain</em> was either mislaid or discarded as, at the time of creation, neither Duchamp nor those around him gave it particular consideration.
Robert Rauschenberg, Erased De Kooning Drawing, 1953
Rauschenberg's inclusion in the exhibition is for his <em>Erased </em>piece - an experiment in whether one could create a new artwork by erasing someone else's - in this case a work by Willem de Kooning.
Tracey Emin, Everyone I have Ever Slept With 1963-1995, 1995
Emin's embroidered tent, painstakingly listing out the names of everyone she had ever slept with, was destroyed along with a number of other work from Charles Saatchi's extensive collection in a warehouse fire in 2004.
Graham Sutherland, Portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, 1954
Sutherland's portrait of Sir Winston Churchill was met with a less than rapturous reception - the subject hated it. In fact, his distress was reportedly so great that his wife smashed the work into pieces before burning it herself.
Michael Landy, Break Down, 2001
As part of a performance piece Michael Landy destroyed all of his possessions over a two week period. The work aimed to draw attention to the modern obsession with consumerism and took place in the old C&A flagship store on Oxford Street.
Joan Miro, The Reaper, 1937
Miro's political protest mural <em>The Reaper</em> was created for the Spanish Pavillion at the World's Fair in Paris 1937 - the same World's Fair which saw the debut of Picasso's political masterpiece, <em>Guernica</em>. The mural was lost during the dismantling of the pavillion leaving only black and white photographic records.
Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, 1952
This portrait of Francis Bacon by Lucian Freud was stolen from a Berlin exhibition in 1988. Despite Freud creating a "Wanted" poster asking for the safe return of the missing work, the portrait never resurfaced.
Lucian Freud, Wanted poster, 2001