Nicholas Serota: art’s modern champion

The guardian | Charlotte Higgins:

here is an anecdote that Sir Nicholas Serota told in a lecture he gave in November 2000, almost exactly six months after the triumphant opening, in the gargantuan chambers of the Bankside power station in London, of Tate Modern. It concerned a civil service inquiry into the salary of the director of the Tate Gallery conducted in 1987, the year before Serota took up the post. The director’s pay, it was concluded, ought to be raised to match that of the directors of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Gallery. Not because the Tate was intrinsically as important as these venerable institutions, but rather because “the director of the Tate has to deal with the very difficult problem of modern art”. The Tate director, in short, was due danger money for having to cope with the inexplicable, the unpopular, the controversial and the bewildering… Read more

Image: Sir Nicholas Serota at Tate Modern’s unveiling of its Switch House extension in June 2016: Jack Taylor/Getty Images