Sir Nicholas Serota has announced that he will step down as director of the Tate galleries, after nearly 30 years in the role.
He will take up the part-time role of Chairman of the Arts Council in February of 2017, replacing Sir Peter Bazalgette, who was appointed chairman of ITV earlier this year.
In a statement, Sir Nicholas said: “It has been an exciting challenge to work with successive Chairmen, trustees and groups of extremely talented colleagues to develop the role of Tate in the study, presentation and promotion of British, modern and international art.
“Over the past thirty years there has been a sea-change in public appreciation of the visual arts in this country. Tate is proud to have played a part in this transformation alongside other national and regional museums and the new galleries that have opened across the country in places like Walsall, Margate, Wakefield, Gateshead and Nottingham.”
Tate charman Lord Browne described the outgoing director as “one of the world’s greatest museum directors”:
“Under his leadership, Tate has become a preeminent cultural organisation nationally and internationally and one of the most visited in the world.”
While it is likely to be some time until his successor is announced, names already being linked to the job include Frances Morris, director of the Tate Modern and Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery.
Sir Nicholas will continue on at the Tate until later next year.