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Tate removes Ovenden prints after conviction on child sex offenses

April 05, 2013|By Deborah Vankin
  • The walkways of the Tate Modern gallery and Millennium Bridge, which opened in 2000.
The walkways of the Tate Modern gallery and Millennium Bridge, which opened… (Christopher Reynolds /…)

Here’s the latest about British artist Graham Ovenden, who was convicted earlier this week for multiple child sex offenses: the Tate in London has removed more than 30 of his prints from its online collection.

The Tate also won’t be showing any of his works by appointment, or at its Tate Modern and Tate Britain galleries, until it has more information and a full review is completed, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Ovenden, 70, was accused of abusing children who had modeled in the nude for him. He has denied the charges. But at Truro Crown Court on Tuesday, he was found guilty of six charges of indecency with a child and one count of indecent assault.

According to The Independent, the court suspected that his modeling sessions, at which he made some girls dress in Victorian clothing before removing it, were more about child abuse than portraiture.

Among the 34 prints the Tate removed were nude images of young girls and a work that was inspired by "Alice in Wonderland." The Tate received all the works in 1975 at a time when it was actively growing its modern print collection; some came from Mayfair art dealer the Waddington Galleries, which had shown Ovenden's work in the early 1970s.

The works of Ovenden, a painter and photographer, have been seen in galleries around the world, including New York’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Graham Ovenden is an artist of note, whose work has been widely shown over more than 40 years,” said a spokesperson for the Tate in a statement.

“However, following his conviction ... Tate is seeking further information and is reviewing the online presentation of those editioned prints by him that are held in the national collection.”

Ovenden, who hasn’t yet been sentenced, was released on bail.


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