Nicholas Serota will be retiring at the end of this month after 28 years as Director of Tate. We would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him for helping make Tate into an organization respected throughout the world.
It was Nick’s vision that led to the creation of Tate Modern and the redefinition of the original gallery at Millbank as Tate Britain. He led the creation of Tate St Ives and has also sought to strengthen the role of Tate as a national institution through the further development of Tate Liverpool in taking a leading part in the celebration of the city as European City of Culture in 2008 and by establishing partnerships with galleries across the country through the Plus Tate program.
During his term the range of Tate’s collection has broadened to include photography and the geographical reach has been extended across the world, taking a more global view.
The collection has been strengthened by major acquisitions of historic British art, as well as important additions to the modern collection including major works by Bacon, Beuys, Bourgeois, Brancusi, Duchamp, Horn, Mondrian, Richter and Twombly, amongst many others. The contemporary collection has been developed into one of the strongest in the world. He was instrumental in helping to secure the ARTIST ROOMS collection given to Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland by Anthony d’Offay as a collection to be shown across the UK. In the past ten years, he has curated some of Tate’s most acclaimed and popular exhibitions including Donald Judd, Howard Hodgkin, Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter and Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs.
In the early days of Nick’s tenure, the American Fund for the Tate Gallery was gifted by Sir Edwin and Lady Manton. The endowment, which was to acquire works of art by North and South American artists, gradually grew into the Tate Americas Foundation. During the last 25 years, the Tate Americas Foundation has raised over $300 million for Tate, the main focus being the creation of Tate Modern and the strengthening of its collection of contemporary art.
While none of this would have been possible without the support of our donors, Nick’s deep involvement in our work has been pivotal in making the Tate Americas Foundation such a success. While we will all miss his leadership, we wish him a very fulfilled and happy retirement.
Thank you, Nick!
26 July 2017