Manchester’s own Maria Balshaw to be Tate’s first female director

After spending 11 years at the forefront of Manchester’s arts and cultural scene, Maria Balshaw is set to become a leading figure in British arts.

The 46-year-old gallery director has been appointed, with the approval of the Prime Minister, the new director of Tate. As director, Balshaw will be responsible for the four Tate art galleries. The galleries include Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London as well as offshoots in Liverpool and St Ives.

Balshaw succeeds Sir Nicholas Serota, who is standing down after almost 30 years. She is due to take up the post in June, making the first ever woman to do so.

In a cultural rejuvenation of our city, Balshaw has been director of Manchester Art Galleries and the Whitworth. In her position, Balshaw oversaw the £15m redevelopment of the Whitworth gallery. She is also credited with persuading George Osborne to invest £78m in the Factory arts hub.

The Whitworth redevelopment, located at The University of Manchester, is regarded as a considerable triumph. So much so that in 2015, the Whitworth won the title of UK’s Museum of the Year. Visitor numbers have also doubled.

Maria Balshaw commented: “I am honoured that the Tate trustees have asked me to be Director and take forward the next exciting chapter of Tate’s life.

“I’m immensely proud to have played a part in making Manchester one of the leading cultural cities in the world and I look forward to seeing what my wonderful colleagues at the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery do next”.

Balshaw will succeed Sir Nicholas Serota, who is standing down after almost 30 years. Balshaw will assume her position in June, making the first ever woman to do so in its 120-year history.

TNT Arts & Culture

Photo Credit: Art Engaged

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