Sir Nicholas Serota, the longstanding director of the Tate galleries, has been announced as the next chairman of the Arts Council England. He will replace Sir Peter Bazalgette, who is to step down in January at the end of his four-year term.
Serota is one of the most influential people in the art world, and has transformed the Tate into one of the world’s leading museums during his 30 years at the helm, overseeing the opening of two new galleries at Tate St Ives in 1993, and London’s Tate Modern in 2000. Tate Modern has swiftly become Tate’s flagship gallery and one of the most visited museums internationally, with the recently opened Switch House extension promising to increase its popularity still further. Serota’s departure comes at a time of wider change at the top of Tate: Frances Morris was appointed the new director of Tate Modern earlier this year; Alex Farquharson took over at Tate Britain in 2015, with Tate St Ives’ artist director Sam Thorne moving into Farquharson’s previous role at Nottingham Contemporary.
Serota’s appointment has been approved by Prime Minister Theresa May and was announced this morning by culture secretary Karen Bradley. He is expected to remain in his role at Tate well into 2017, fulfilling both roles simultaneously.