Maria Balshaw

Tate Announces Appointment of Maria Balshaw as New Director

Tate announced today that the appointment of Maria Balshaw as its new director has been approved by prime minister Theresa May. Balshaw, director of the University of Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery, the Manchester City Galleries, and culture for the Manchester City Council, will be the first woman to lead the institution and will take up the post on June 1.

Board chair Lord Browne said, “The trustees and I know that Maria has the vision, drive and stature to lead Tate into its next phase of development. We enthusiastically look forward to working with her as she does so.”

Balshaw began her career in academia before working for Arts Council England in Birmingham and then becoming director of the Whitworth in 2006. She quickly became a key figure in the transformation of Manchester’s cultural sector, curating radical and popular programs and expanding the city’s art collections. In recent years she spearheaded the Whitworth’s $20 million expansion project. The arts space won Museum of the Year in 2015 and was nominated for the Stirling Prize. It has been working toward the launch of Factory, a new arts venue and permanent home for the Manchester International Festival. Balshaw was awarded a CBE for services to the arts in 2015.

Maria Balshaw said, “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. 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.”

After twenty-eight years at the helm of the institution, Serota will take up the part-time role of chairman of Arts Council England on February 1.