The new culture Secretary, The Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, has appointed Sir Nicholas Andrew Serota, CH, as the new Chair of Arts Council England for a term of four years, commencing on 1 February 2017. Serota will take over from Sir Peter Bazalgette in the role.
Nicholas Serota has transformed the Tate during his time there, making it one of the leading art institutions in the world, and I am delighted he is taking up the position as Chair of Arts Council England. He brings unparalleled experience, creativity, and wisdom and will continue to be an enthusiastic champion of the arts in his new role. I would like to thank Sir Peter Bazalgette for his fantastic energy and hard work in the role as he passes the baton to Nicholas.
Sir Nicholas Serota said: I am delighted to have been appointed to succeed Sir Peter Bazalgette as Chair of the Arts Council from 1 February 2017. This is an enormous honour, given the seventy-year history of the Council, its success in recent years and the crucial role that it plays in promoting art and culture in this country.
The appointment was made by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, with the approval of the Prime Minister. Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: Nicholas has had an immeasurable impact on the Tate over the past three decades bringing incredible art to the public’s attention that has inspired generations.
As the next chair of Arts Council England, I am sure he will build on the excellent work of Sir Peter Bazalgette in increasing diversity and access to arts and culture across the country. I very much look forward to working with him in his new role.
The post is remunerated at £40,000 per annum. The appointment has been made in accordance with the OCPA Code of Practice. It is a requirement of the Code that political activity by those appointed is declared. Sir Nicholas has declared no such political activity.
Nicholas Serota has been Director of Tate since 1988. During this period Tate has opened Tate St Ives (1993) and Tate Modern (2000), redefining the Millbank building as Tate Britain (2000). Tate has also broadened its field of interest to include twentieth-century photography, film, performance and occasionally architecture, as well as collecting from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Since 2010, the national role of the Gallery has been further developed with the creation of the Plus Tate network of 35 institutions across the UK and Northern Ireland.
Nicholas Serota has been a member of the Visual Arts Advisory Committee of the British Council, a Trustee of the Architecture Foundation and a commissioner on the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. He was a member of the Olympic Delivery Authority which was responsible for building the Olympic Park in East London for 2012. He is a member of the Executive Board of the BBC.
Nicholas Serota was born in London in 1946. He studied History of Art at the University of Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute. He joined the Arts Council of Great Britain’s Visual Arts Department as a regional art officer in 1970 and then worked as a curator at the Hayward Gallery. In 1973, aged 27, he was appointed the director of the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford where he worked for four years before he became the Director of the Whitechapel Gallery in 1976. He succeeded Alan Bowness in 1988 as Director of Tate.
Nicholas Serota was knighted in 1999 and appointed a Companion of Honour in 2013.
Photo: P C Robinson ©2016