Frances Morris (gallerist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frances Morris
Frances Morris in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.
Frances Morris in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.
BornJanuary 1959 (age 59)
London, England
Alma mater
Titledirector, Tate Modern
PredecessorChris Dercon
Spouse(s)Martin Caiger-Smith

Frances Morris (born January 1959)[1] is the director of the Tate Modern art gallery in London, succeeding Chris Dercon in January 2016.


Frances Morris was born in London.[2] She studied history of art, receiving a bachelor's degree from the University of Cambridge and a master's degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art.[3] Her master's thesis deals with French painter Jean Hélion.[4] She is a board member of Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, CIMAM and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto.[5]


After working at the Arnolfini, she joined the Tate Gallery as a curator in 1987, became the head of displays at Tate Modern when it opened in 2000, and the director of the international art collection in 2006.[6][7] In January 2016, she was appointed director of the Tate Modern.[3] As director, Morris oversees one of the world's most popular art museum with an attendance of over 5.8 million visitors annually; she is also credited with elevating the Tate Modern’s profile globally.[8][9][10] She is the gallery's first British and first woman director.[11]

Morris, along with Iwona Blazwick, are responsible with the initial presentation in 2000 of the Tate Modern's opening collection displays in a non-chronological manner with mixing of contemporary artwork with those of Monet, Matisse, and Picasso. While the chronological or antichronological style was controversial with art critics, it is now regularly used world-wide by museums and galleries; it is also how the Tate Modern continues to display its collection.[12][13]

In her career, Morris has particularly emphasised women artists and art from outside Europe.[7][14] She has curated several large-scale international collaborative exhibitions including major retrospectives for Louise Bourgeois in 2007,[15][16] Yayoi Kusama in 2012[17] and Agnes Martin in 2015.[18][7]

Personal life[edit]

Morris is married to Martin Caiger-Smith,[19] head of the MA Curating the Art Museum programme at the Courtauld Institute of Art,[20] and they have three children.[11]


  1. ^ "Frances MORRIS - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  2. ^ Wullschlager, Jackie (20 May 2016). "Interview: Frances Morris, Tate Modern's first female director". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b Stephens, Simon (20 January 2016). "Tate Modern names new director". Museums Association. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  4. ^ Jean Hélion: abstraction to figuration 1930–1950, University of London (Courtauld Institute of Art), 1983.
  5. ^ Tate. "Tate Modern Director | Tate". Tate. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  6. ^ Brown, Mark (15 January 2016). "Frances Morris to become new Tate Modern chief". The Guardian.
  7. ^ a b c Jones, Jonathan (22 January 2016). "Why it's great news that Frances Morris will run Tate Modern". The Guardian.
  8. ^ Discovery, RSM. "Ranking The World's Most Admired Art Museums, And What Big Business Can Learn From Them". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  9. ^ "A rehang, a mega-show and 1.5m visitors: Tate Britain director's vision". Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  10. ^ "Tate Modern Appoints Frances Morris Director - artnet News". artnet News. 2016-01-15. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  11. ^ a b Ward, Victoria (15 January 2016). "Tate Modern appoints its first British and first female director". Daily Telegraph.
  12. ^ Jones, Jonathan (2016-01-22). "Why it's great news that Frances Morris will run Tate Modern". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  13. ^ Boxer, Sarah (2000-09-02). "Snubbing Chronology As a Guiding Force in Art". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  14. ^ Brown, Mark (14 April 2016). "The new Tate Modern: more space, seats … and women". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "TateShots: Louise Bourgeois | Tate". Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  16. ^ "Louise Bourgeois at Tate Modern". The Guardian. 2007-10-24. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  17. ^ Brown, Mark (2012-02-07). "Yayoi Kusama arrives at Tate Modern with a polka at Damien Hirst". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  18. ^ Tate. "Agnes Martin – Press Release | Tate". Tate. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  19. ^ "King's College Online Community - Frances Morris (KC1978)". 2 July 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Martin Caiger-Smith - The Courtauld Institute of Art". Retrieved 12 January 2017.