The most debated job in the UK art world may be about to be revealed. Maria Balshaw, director of the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester City Galleries, could become the first female director of the Tate. The appointment will oversee Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives.
There has been huge speculation about who would succeed Nicholas Serota who moves to the Arts Council after thirty years at the Tate.
It has been reported in The Guardian that Balshaw has been chosen by the Tate’s trustees, and the appointment is waiting for approval from the prime minister.
At the Whitworth, Balshaw commissioned a wide range of pioneering exhibitions of female artists including Marina Abramovic, Mary Kelly, Cornelia Parker and Jane and Louise Wilson. She lead an ambitious £15million redevelopment of the gallery, which doubled the exhibition space and opened the Whitworth Sculpture Park. This saw a massive surge in visitor numbers and secured it as Art Fund’s Museum of the Year in 2015.
Balshaw is known for her good relationships with artists, and is seen to be a driving force behind Manchester’s cultural weight.