Tate Modern Appoints Frances Morris as New Director

She will replace outgoing director Chris Dercon.

Frances Morris has been appointed the new director of London's Tate Modern. Photo: Tate (@tate) via Twitter
Frances Morris has been appointed the new director of London's Tate Modern. Photo: Tate (@tate) via Twitter

London’s Tate announced that Frances Morris has been appointed as the new director of the Tate Modern. Morris was promoted to the top job after having served as the director of collection of international art at the Tate since 2006.

The 57-year-old will fill the vacancy left by outgoing director Chris Dercon who will become director of the Berlin-based Volksbühne Theater in 2017.

According to a statement from the Tate Modern, Morris will take up the appointment later this year, without mentioning a specific date. However it is likely to be before the museum reopens to the public on June 17, 2016 following a major extension and renovation.

Morris has worked at the Tate for 29 years, having joined in 1987 as a curator. She served as head of displays at the Tate Modern between 2000 and 2006 and was subsequently promoted to director of collection, international art.

Outgoing Tate Modern Director Chris Dercon was unveiled as the new director of the Volsbühne, Berlin in April. Photo: 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair via YouTube

Outgoing Tate Modern Director Chris Dercon was unveiled as the new director of the Volsbühne, Berlin in April.
Photo: 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair via YouTube

Her time at the institution has been characterized by putting together astute presentations of leading women artists including major retrospectives for Louise Bourgeois in 2007, Yayoi Kusama in 2012, and Agnes Martin in 2015.

Morris has also been credited with promoting the Tate Modern’s global profile, elevating it to one of the world’s premier destinations for modern and contemporary art. Tate Modern is the most-visited modern and contemporary art museum in the world, with 5.7 million people passing through its doors in 2014/2015.

Morris studied History of Art at Cambridge University and earning her MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Prior to her position at the Tate, she has written and published extensively on contemporary art and organized exhibitions for numerous British and international artists.

The 'new' Tate Modern opens on June 17, 2016. Photo: @Tate via Instagram

The ‘new’ Tate Modern opens on June 17, 2016.
Photo: @Tate via Instagram

Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, said in a statement “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.”

He emphasized “She is widely respected internationally for her flair, expertise and clarity of vision. She will lead the new Tate Modern into the next era.”

Morris expressed her delight at the appointment, “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.”

“Tate Modern is a truly unique institution and I have been privileged to have been part of the team from the very beginning,” she said in a statement.

She praised the institution’s “Incredible collection, amazing artists, extraordinary colleagues across Tate, brilliant supporters and wave upon wave of appreciative visitors.”


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share