Tate Modern announced today that Frances Morris will be the London museum’s new director. Chris Dercon, the Tate Modern’s director of five years, will leave the museum later this year.
Morris first joined the Tate as a curator in 1987. From 2000 to 2006, she was head of displays, and then, after that, she became director of collection, international art. In addition to her work at the Tate, she is currently on the board of directors at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, the advisory board of Porto’s Serralves Museum, and the advisory committee of CIMAM, a forum of museum officials that discusses various issues facing curators of modern and contemporary art.
In her tenure at the museum, Morris has been an essential part of the Tate’s effort to broaden its collection—she has helped round out the museum’s collection of art from South Asia, the Asian Pacific region, and the Middle East. And, in her effort to begin righting the collection’s serious gender disparities, she’s also mounted three major retrospectives by female artists: Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, and Agnes Martin. The critically acclaimed Martin retrospective is currently making its way around the world and will stop at the Guggenheim this fall.
“Tate Modern is a truly unique institution and I have been privileged to have been part of the team from the very beginning,” Morris said in a statement. “An incredible collection, amazing artists, extraordinary colleagues across Tate, brilliant supporters and wave upon wave of appreciative visitors have given me many creative opportunities and memorable experiences. I am thrilled and excited to be appointed as director and look forward to taking on this new role at such an exciting time for the museum.”
“Frances Morris is an innovative thinker who has shaped and developed Tate’s international collection, firmly establishing Tate Modern as one of the foremost contemporary and modern art galleries in the world,” Nicolas Serota, Tate’s director, added. “She will lead the new Tate Modern into the next era.”