Maria Balshaw

Director of Tate galleries

Balshaw’s first full year as director of the four Tate galleries did not pass without a hitch. Patron Anthony d'Offay was accused of sexual harassment, a major headache given he sold his collection to the Tate at cost in 2008 to found the Artist Rooms touring project (Tate has cut ties with the collector, who denies the allegations). In February, Balshaw was accused of ‘victim blaming’ over comments on #MeToo and was criticised for her description of young boys ‘eating their fried chicken’ in front of a Steve McQueen work at Tate Liverpool. Things perked up a little as the Tate St Ives extension opened in October, yet there was a 3.3 percent fall in visits across the UK compared to 2016/17. Nonetheless, Tate’s global brand remains strong: 615,000 people saw Landscapes of the Mind: Masterpieces from Tate Britain (1700–1980) at the Shanghai Museum in August, making it Tate’s most attended show.