Karin Hindsbo, the director of Oslo’s National Museum, will be the next director of Tate Modern, making her the second woman in a row—and the second one ever—to lead the London institution.
Hindsbo succeeds Frances Morris, who became the first woman to lead Tate Modern in 2016. Morris’s term at Tate Modern ends this month.
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Under Hindsbo, the National Museum launched an epic project to bring together several disparate institutions run by the Norwegian state under its aegis. Along with that came an effort to significantly expand the museum, making it the largest art institution in the Nordic region.
Maria Balshaw, director of the Tate museum network, said in a statement, “The success of the new National Museum in Oslo—delivered in the midst of a global pandemic—is a testament to her skill as a leader. Her nuanced and diverse approach to expressing national and transnational artistic ecologies chimes with Tate Modern’s ethos brilliantly.”
That new building, which opened last June, added more than 580,000 square feet and cost more than $700 million. Upon its opening, the building was well-received in the international press, but the run-up to its inauguration was contentious in Norway, where issues with contractors working on the expansion were widely reported in the press.
Even before that, Hindsbo had faced scrutiny in some corners after the critic Lars Elton, writing in the publication Dagsavisen, claimed she had gotten her job through her husband, a politician who was formerly active with the country’s Conservative Party. He also criticized her management style. Hindsbo would later describe Elton’s criticisms as misognyistic.
Although the National Museum does not only show modern and contemporary art, Hindsbo did have experience in that area before coming there in 2017. She had led several museums in Denmark previously, including the Den Frie Centre for Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, the Kunsthal Aarhus, the Sørlandets Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand, and Kode in Bergen. She had also been the editor of the Danish journal Øjeblikket.
Hindsbo, who will join Tate Modern in September, said in a statement, “I am beyond excited to join the skilled staff and to be a part of the whole Tate organisation. Tate Modern has always been a special place for me and I have had some of my greatest experiences encountering art there. I am eager to continue the magnificent work being done, creating a unique and inspiring museum for a wide and diverse audience.”