Sir Nicholas Serota is to become chairman of Arts Council England in February 2017, leaving his post as Tate director after 28 years. Serota will take over the role from Sir Peter Bazalgette, whose four-year term ends on 31st January.
Serota, 70, called the appointment “an enormous honour, given the 70-year history of the council, its success in recent years and the crucial role that it plays in promoting art and culture in this country”.
During his time as director of the Tate, Serota oversaw the opening of the Tate Modern in 2000 - as well as its £260m extension in June to offer 60% more display space - and the rebranding of the original Tate Gallery at Millbank.
Darren Henley, chief executive at Arts Council England, welcomed Serota to the role, crediting him a "visionary arts leader of immense national and international standing, whose cultural credentials are second to none".
Henley added: "He has led Tate with flair and wisdom for the past three decades, ensuring new audiences across the country can enjoy contemporary art. I’m thrilled that we will now benefit from his insight and expertise at Arts Council England. Our excitement at Nick’s arrival is only tempered by sadness at Baz’s departure. We owe him a great debt of gratitude for his truly outstanding leadership and his intelligent championing of public investment in arts and culture over the past four years. In both our outgoing and incoming chairs, we couldn’t have wished for better appointments.”
Karen Bradley, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, said: "Nicholas Serota has transformed the Tate during his time there, making it one of the leading art institutions in the world, and I am delighted he is taking up the position as Chair of Arts Council England. He brings unparallelled experience, creativity and wisdom and will continue to be an enthusiastic champion of the arts in his new role. I would like to thank Peter Bazalgette for his fantastic energy and hard work in the role as he passes the baton to Nicholas."
Sarah Crown was made new director of literature at ACE in June.