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Tate Britain Appoints New Director

Tate Britain has appointed Alex Farquharson as its new director, reports The Guardian’s Mark Brown. The founding director of Nottingham Contemporary, Farquharson’s replacing Penelope Curtis, who’s going to serve as the director of the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon. In addition to his role at Nottingham, he sits on the Arts Council Collection’s acquisitions committee, and formerly served as research fellow and a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art, London. Farquharson was also part of the selection committee that chose Steve McQueen for the 2009 Venice Biennale’s British Pavilion. During his tenure at the Nottingham, it drew over a million visitors during the first five years.

Although she oversaw the museum’s successful $70 million renovation, critics accused the museum of staging flat exhibitions, while defenders said the accusations against her “verged on a vendetta.”

The director of Tate, Sir Nicholas Serota, said Farquharson had made Nottingham “one of the leading galleries in the UK,” adding, “He has created a program that serves local and national audiences, working closely with artists and reflecting history as well as the present.”

And Turner Prize hopefuls might also want to take note: As Tate Britain director, Farquharson will now also serve as chair of the committee that chooses the award’s winners.