Start with the setting. The Tate is across the Thames, so you’ll inevitably see London from a different perspective. We crossed the Waterloo Bridge then strolled along a nice, wide river walk, which was pleasant because there are no cross streets or double-decker buses zooming by.
The museum itself is in a massive, converted power plant. That means there’s plenty of space in the buildings, and plenty of room for the exhibited art works. There’s also a good flow in the design of the interior space, with multiple floors and rooms that allow you to move along at your own pace. The high-ceilinged rooms, and the fact that the crowds were not enormous, like those we found at the Louvre and the National Gallery, gave the sense of lots of elbow room.
It helps, too, that the Tate Modern has a terrific collection. Sure, there are Picassos and Rothkos and Pollocks, but the real delight for me was discovering some artists I’d really never considered before. There were lots of beautiful pieces on display, but two of my favorites were Leon Kossoff’s Man in a Wheelchair, shown above, which used a thick paint technique that gave the piece a textured feel that contributed greatly to its strong emotional impact, and Ellsworth Kelly’s Gironde, shown below, which almost seemed to be trying to communicate in some kind of alien language.