Tate announced yesterday that Maria Balshaw, currently Director of the Whitworth (University of Manchester), Manchester City Galleries, and Director of Culture for Manchester City Council, has been appointed the new Director of Tate. The appointment by the gallery’s Board of Trustees has been approved by the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP. Balshaw will take up her new post on 1 June 2017. She is the first woman to be appointed to the role.
Maria 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 programmes and expanding the city’s art collections. In recent years she spearheaded the Whitworth’s £17m transformation, which won Museum of the Year and was nominated for the Stirling Prize. She has recently been working towards the launch of Factory, a new arts venue and permanent home for Manchester International Festival. She was awarded a CBE for services to the arts in 2015.
Maria Balshaw said:
‘I am honoured to be asked by the Trustees of Tate to become the new Director. 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.’