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Polly Staple. Photo: Mark Blower. Courtesy of Tate.
Polly Staple. Photo: Mark Blower. Courtesy of Tate.

Polly Staple Named Director of Tate’s Collection of British Art

The Tate has appointed Polly Staple, who has led the Chisenhale Gallery since 2008, director of the institution’s collection of British art. She succeeds Ann Gallagher in managing the research and acquisition of works of British art from 1500 to the present day and will take up the post in January 2020.

“Polly’s track record in recognizing artistic talent and her commitment to making art available to the widest possible audience will prove invaluable as we continue to develop our British collection,” said Maria Balshaw, director of the Tate art museums and galleries. “We very much look forward to welcoming her to Tate.”

During her decade-long tenure at the Chisenhale Gallery, Staple commissioned and curated shows by artists such as Ed Atkins, Banu Cennetoğlu, Camille Henrot, Helen Marten, Pratchaya Phinthong, James Richards, Hito Steyerl, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. She also organized the gallery’s research-based program of talks, performances, and digital and off-site curatorial projects.

Commenting on her leadership, Alice Rawsthorn, chair of the venue’s board of trustees, said: “We are very grateful to Polly for everything she has achieved here and are delighted for her that she is taking on such an exciting new role at Tate.”

Prior to joining Chisenhale Gallery, Staple served as director of Frieze Projects, from 2002 to 2006, and as editor at large of Frieze magazine, from 2003 to 2008. In her new role, she will work closely with Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson and Gregor Muir, who helms Tate’s international collection.