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Maria Balshaw CBE

Director, Tate

Director of Tate, formerly Director of the Whitworth, University of Manchester and Manchester City Galleries.

Maria Balshaw succeeded Sir Nicholas Serota as Director of Tate on 1 June 2017 and will oversee the opening of a major extension to Tate St Ives in autumn 2017.

Previously, as Director of the Whitworth, University of Manchester and Manchester City Galleries, Maria was responsible for the artistic and strategic vision for each gallery. Both hold internationally important collections of fine and decorative art of more than 100,000 objects between them. An academic by training, she has worked as a Director within the cultural sector for the past 11 years.

During her time in Manchester; Maria oversaw the £17million transformation of the Whitworth – which in the same year was awarded the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015. She led exhibitions of internationally recognized artists such as Marina Abramovic, Mary Kelly, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Cornelia Parker, Raqib Shaw and Idris Khan. Collected major moving image works by Isaac Julien, Steve McQueen and Elizabeth Price. As well as leading major group exhibitions across the city of both West African art in We Face Forward (2012) and South Asian art in the New North South (2017).

Alongside her role as Director of two major Manchester institutions, Maria was Director of Culture for Manchester City Council from 2013-2017. In April 2014 the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport appointed Maria as a board member of Arts Council England. Maria was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the arts in June 2015.

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