Tate Modern director on CBE: Real honour is the extraordinary place I work in

Tate Modern director Frances Morris said the “real honour” is the “extraordinary place” she works in every day after she was made a CBE.

She is the fourth director of the London art gallery and the first to be on the New Year’s Honours List, according to Tate Modern.

Morris, a graduate of Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute, joined Tate as a curator in 1987.

When Tate Modern opened, she became head of displays from 2000 to 2006, and then director of international collections.

Morris took over as director in 2016 and then oversaw the second phase of Tate Modern’s development.

She said: “This is a wonderful recognition of everything that everyone at Tate Modern has achieved over the years.

“For me, the real honour is to work in an extraordinary place with brilliant and inspiring artists and colleagues, and to love every working minute.”

Morris, 63, will step down after seven years as director at the end of April next year.

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Maria Balshaw, director of Tate, and Roland Rudd, chair of Tate, said in a joint statement that they are “delighted” by the recognition of Morris’s “contribution to the visual arts”.

They added: “Frances has radically transformed the way the story of modern art is presented and led the expansion of Tate’s collection into new areas, significantly extending its international reach.

“She has ensured a more balanced representation of women artists at Tate, and importantly extended the repertoire of contemporary art by making space for performance and live art.

“She is revered by her peers across the globe as a director who understands that art, scholarship and public enjoyment can go hand-in-hand.”

Morris has recently been the co-curator of Hilma Af Klint And Piet Mondrian: Forms Of Life, which covers the two 20th century artists’ fascination with the natural world.

The upcoming exhibition is opening at Tate Modern in April 2023.