Stephen Deuchar appointed the new Director of The Art Fund

The Art Fund has just announced today the appointment of Dr Stephen Deuchar as the new Director. Currently the Director of Tate Britain and Chairman of the 2009 Turner Prize, Dr Deuchar will start at The Art Fund in January 2010.

David Verey, Chairman of The Art Fund, said: “Stephen Deuchar is passionate about art and artists, and in giving the public the opportunity to experience great art in all its forms – which has been The Art Fund’s charitable purpose for more than 100 years. It is wonderful that he will be joining The Art Fund as our new Director. A great arts professional, Stephen Deuchar will bring a wealth of expertise and exceptional achievement to The Art Fund. We are all very excited for the future of The Art Fund under his forthcoming directorship.”

Stephen Deuchar said: “I am simply thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to direct the UK’s leading art charity. Its vital support of art galleries and museums across the UK, and the role it plays in galvanising support for the visual arts in Britain, make it a truly exceptional organisation. I cannot wait to start work.I am very proud of my time at Tate Britain, and to have been entrusted with the task of being its founding director. I feel privileged to have worked alongside many inspirational colleagues, especially Nick Serota. But The Art Fund represents an important new chapter for me and an exhilarating challenge.”

Dr Deuchar was appointed to the Tate in 1998 after 12 years as a curator and exhibitions director at the National Maritime Museum. He oversaw the creation of Tate Britain in 2000 at Millbank, home of the original Tate Gallery, and the opening of its Centenary Development galleries in 2001. Under his leadership Tate Britain has acquired an outstanding international reputation for the quality of its exhibitions, drawing 60% more visitors over the past eight years. He led the campaign to secure Rubens’s Sketch for the Banqueting House Ceiling last year, and worked closely with The Art Fund on the campaign to acquire Turner’s Blue Rigi in 2007. Dr Deuchar succeeds David Barrie who stepped down at the end of May after 17 years in the post.

With the recent exhibitions at Tate Britain bringing exceptional art and contemporary thought to the forum, it will be exciting to see what Stephen Deuchar will bring to the Art Fund, and consequentially to our galleries and museums across the UK. It’s hard to believe that the Art Fund give grants up to £5 million per year to help enrich collections across the UK.

Image credit: © Marcella Leith

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