Rothesay Pavilion board member will be first female director of Tate

Maria Balshaw (centre), pictured with other members of the Rothesay Pavilion Charity's board.
Maria Balshaw (centre), pictured with other members of the Rothesay Pavilion Charity's board.

A Rothesay Pavilion Charity board member has been named as the first female director of Tate.

Maria Balshaw will take up her new post on June 1, 2017.

The appointment by the gallery’s Board of Trustees has been approved by the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, and it follows the decision by its current director, Nicholas Serota, to take up the part-time role of Chairman of Arts Council England on February 1, 2017.

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, and has 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.

On Bute she serves as a board member of Rothesay Pavilion Charity which was set-up to run the building following completion of its multi-million pound renovation.

Maria 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.”