Sir Nicholas Serota will be stepping down as Director of Tate next year. It was announced by the Museum’s Board of Trustees that it’s all change at the top of the organisation. The process of finding a new director will begin immediately and is being guided by a specially appointed committee of trustees and external advisers including senior artists.
Tate’s Chairman, Lord Browne said: “We have been privileged to have in Nicholas Serota one of the world’s greatest museum directors and a leader for the visual arts on a global stage. Under his leadership Tate has become a preeminent cultural organisation nationally and internationally and one of the most visited in the world. He has championed British art and artists throughout the world while at the same time ensuring that Tate has become a much loved, open and accessible institution for the public. He leaves Tate in a strong position on which to build for the future. We wish him well as he takes on new responsibilities which will be for the benefit of all the arts.”
Nicholas Serota said: “It has been an exciting challenge to work with successive Chairmen, trustees and groups of extremely talented colleagues to develop the role of Tate in the study, presentation and promotion of British, modern and international art. Over the past thirty years, there has been a sea-change in public appreciation of the visual arts in this country. Tate is proud to have played a part in this transformation alongside other national and regional museums and the new galleries that have opened across the country in places like Walsall, Margate, Wakefield, Gateshead and Nottingham. Tate has always been fortunate to have enjoyed the support of artists and to have benefitted from the international acclaim for the work of British artists in recent years. I leave an institution that has the potential to reach broad audiences across the UK and abroad, through its own programmes, partnerships and online.”
Nicholas Serota is a champion of visual arts throughout the UK and abroad. During his 28 years at Tate, he has helped to make Tate an organisation respected throughout the world. It was his vision that led to the creation of Tate Modern and the redefinition of the original gallery at Millbank as Tate Britain. He led the creation of Tate St Ives and has also sought to strengthen the role of Tate as a national institution through the further development of Tate Liverpool in taking a leading part in the celebration of the city as European City of Culture in 2008 and by establishing partnerships with galleries across the country through the Plus Tate programme.
During his term, the range of Tate’s collection has broadened to include photography and the geographical reach has been extended across the world, taking a more global view. The collection has also been strengthened by major acquisitions of historic British art, including Wright of Derby’s An Iron Forge 1772, Reynolds’s The Archers 1769, Turner’s Blue Rigi 1842 and Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows 1831. Additions to the modern collection have included major works by Bacon, Beuys, Bourgeois, Brancusi, Duchamp, Horn, Mondrian, Richter and Twombly, among many others. The contemporary collection has been developed into one of the strongest in the world. He was instrumental in helping to secure the ARTIST ROOMS collection given to Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland by Anthony d’Offay as a collection to be shown across the UK. In the past ten years, he has curated some of Tate’s most acclaimed and popular exhibitions including Donald Judd, Howard Hodgkin, Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter andHenri Matisse: The Cut-Outs.
He will take up the part-time role of Chairman of the Arts Council on 1 February 2017 and will continue at Tate until later in the year.
Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2016