Maria Balshaw

Balshaw named joint director of Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery

Rebecca Atkinson, 25.02.2011
Manchester City Council and University of Manchester announce new collaboration
Maria Balshaw is to become joint director of Manchester Art Gallery and Whitworth Art Gallery under a new collaboration between Manchester City Council and the University of Manchester.

Moira Stevenson, the current director of Manchester Art Gallery, will retire later this year, but Balshaw will take on the joint director role from 1 April.

She told Museums Journal: "The council and the university wanted to develop more creative ways of working together and as both face economic challenges it was felt there was more they could do together. The new role is a concrete example of how you can have a joint director without having to merge organisations."

Balshaw will remain an employee of the university and there are no plans at this stage for other members of staff to take on joint roles across the two galleries.

Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said creating a joint director role for the two galleries would “not only safeguard, but significantly enhance the city’s cultural reputation”.

And Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester, added: "This new arrangement illustrates how Manchester is prepared to pioneer new modes of leadership for the arts to achieve mutual benefits.”

This article was updated on 25 February at 5pm to include a comment from Maria Balshaw