It’s official: Balshaw gets Tate

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The Tate has formally announced that Maria Balshaw will take over from Sir Nicholas Serota in June, the gallery’s first woman director.

The announcement follows the approval of the appointment by the Prime Minister, although the recommendation of the Tate’s trustees had been known for some days.

Balshaw, 46, has been director of the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester since 2006 and in 2015 presided over its 17m remake. She also became simultaneously director of Manchester Art Gallery, and the city’s head of cultural planning. She was awarded the CBE in 2015, the year that the Whitworth was chosen as the Art Fund Museum of the Year.

“Under Nicholas Serota’s leadership Tate has changed forever how we all think about art and artists and has made visual art a central part of a vibrant cultural life in the UK” she said today. “I am tremendously excited to be leading Tate in the next chapter of its life. I look forward to developing Tate’s reputation as the most artistically adventurous and culturally inclusive gallery in the world.”

Culture secretary Karen Bradley welcomed Balshaw’s appointment. “She has been pivotal in the transformation of the Whitworth and helped further Manchester’s cultural reputation across the world” she said. “She will bring the same energy, vision and creativity to Tate and ensure this world-class British institution continues to go from strength to strength. I look forward to working alongside her.” 

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