Sir Nicholas Serota

Nicholas Serota (m. 1965) is an art historian and curator who became Director of the Tate in 1988, having previously been Director of the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1973-1976) and the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1976-1988).

Serota grew up in Hampstead, London and read Economics at Christ’s before switching to History of Art. He completed a Masters at the Courtauld Institute, specialising in the work of J.M.Turner – he later became chairman of the Turner Prize jury, a role he served until 2007.

In his work at the Whitechapel Gallery, Serota organised influential exhibitions of Carl Andre, Eva Hesse and Gerard Richter, as well as then emerging artists such as Anthony Gormley. At the Tate, Serota inaugurated a programme called 'New Displays' in which the central Duveen Galleries were restored and collection works were rotated. The Turner Prize was redefined as a showcase for emerging contemporary art. He was also instrumental in establishing the Tate Modern, which opened in 2000.

Nicholas Serota was awarded a knighthood in 1999 and was elected as an Honorary Fellow of Christ’s in 2002.