The University of Manchester and Manchester City Council have announced that Alistair Hudson, currently Director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), will be the new Director of Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth.
Alistair will take up his role in the New Year. He succeeds Maria Balshaw, following her appointment as Director of Tate earlier this year.
Hudson is a strong advocate for the social purpose of cutlural institutions. Before taking over at mima, Hudson was deputy director at Grizedale Arts in Cumbria, where he developed artists' projects and residencies which critically engaged with the locality and regional community. Appointed director of mima in 2014, he defined the institution's vision as a 'Useful Museum', looking to engage with the local population while responding to the town's industrial heritage. The Middlesbrough council area had the highest proportion of deprived neighbourhoods in England, according to 2015 UK government statistics.
On his appointment, Hudson said: “I am completely thrilled to be taking up this post in Manchester. The city's cultural scene is one of the most dynamic and diverse in the country and Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth are at the heart of this. Maria Balshaw and her teams have established both institutions at the forefront of the democratisation of art, working for all of society. I look forward to driving this mission forward and working across the region in projects that have real impact in people's lives.”
12 September 2017