10 APRIL 1964, Page 12

Change at the Tate The news of Sir John Rothenstein's

forthcom- ing retirement from the Tate Gallery is sad: but it is hard not to feel that the achievements of who- ever succeeds him will appear even greater. Sir John goes at a time when the battle for far larger government subsidies for the arts seems to be being won at last. He and his staff worked for a long time against incredible difficulties of lack of space and funds. With his flair fo: publicity Sir John achieved much in acquiring new works, in rearranging the collection, in increasing attend- ance and in drawing private funds from the Friends of the Tate and their American counter- part. But the era of improvisation should soon be over. The time is coming for new buildings and for a vast increase in the purchasing grants so that the collection will always be a growing one. The new man will need not so much a flair for pub- licity as persistence in putting his case to the Government and enlisting public support. He should win, but the achievements of Sir John Rothenstein will have eased his task.