Maria Balshaw appointed as first woman director of Tate

Maria Balshaw
Maria Balshaw Credit: Tim P. Whitby/Getty

Gallery director Maria Balshaw has been appointed to one of the art world's most important positions, as the new Director of Tate, the institution responsible for the four Tate art galleries. 

Balshaw, 46, is currently Director of the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester City Galleries. Her appointment has been approved by the Prime Minister, and Balshaw will take over from outgoing Director of Tate Nicholas Serota on June 1.  

"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," said Balshaw, who is the first woman take up the position. 

"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."

Credit: Rebecca Storey

Balshaw has championed women artists throughout her career, helming acclaimed exhibitions by artists including Marina Abramovic, Elizabeth Price and Cornelia Parker.

Lord Browne, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery, described her appointment as "very exciting news," adding that Balshow "has the vision, drive and stature to lead Tate into its next phase of development."

"I am confident that Maria’s bold leadership will enable us to continue to push new boundaries for artists and audiences across the UK and the rest of the world," he added.