Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Tate Modern’s new Director, Karin Hindsbo

Karin Hindsbo. Photo: © Nasjonalmuseet / Ina Wesenberg.

Gareth Harris, Tate Modern announces new director as Oslo museum chief Karin Hindsbo, The Art Newspaper, 28 April 2023

Pressing challenges include maintaining visitor numbers and developing the institution’s climate response.

Karin Hindsbo, the director of the National Museum, Oslo, has been appointed director of Tate Modern in London. She replaces Frances Morris who served in the role since 2016, and will take up the post in September.

Hindsbo led the creation of the new National Museum in Oslo which opened last year. The new institution merged four of Norway’s major art and design institutions under one giant roof, creating the largest museum in the Nordic countries.

“Norwegian politicians decided to bring these four collections into one to have an institution that was able to tell the whole story from antiquity up until today about visual arts and culture”, Hindsbo told The Art Newspaper. She pointed out also that “there has been this huge investment in cultural institutions in Norway, in Oslo in particular in the last decade”. Hindsbo appeared on our podcast, The Week in Art, to mark the museum launch.

Morris was responsible for expanding and diversifying the collection and programme. Maria Balshaw, director of Tate, says in a statement: “[Hindsbo’s] nuanced and diverse approach to expressing national and transnational artistic ecologies chimes with Tate Modern’s ethos brilliantly.”

It appears Hindsbo’s in-tray will be full; challenges include maintaining visitor numbers in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Major museums worldwide will also need to focus more on the climate change issue (Tate declared a “climate emergency” in 2019). Following criticism for the closure of the Tate Exchange project, Tate Modern’s community programme, Hindsbo may now also need to focus on relationships with emerging artists.

Hindsbo has experience leading major public institutions including Kode in Bergen (2014-17), Sørlandets Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand (2012-14), Kunsthal Aarhus (2009-11), and Den Frie Centre for Contemporary Art in Copenhagen (2006-08). She was previously editor-in-chief of the Danish cultural journal Øjeblikket and an external lecturer at the Institute of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen. She studied at the Aarhus University and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.

According to an announcement posted on the website of the National Museum of Norway, Hindsbo’s term comes to an end 1 June. “The museum is now looking for a successor to continue the work of making art available to everyone and developing Oslo and Norway as a destination for artistic and cultural experiences,” adds the statement.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Lynley Crosswell, Museums Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne VIC 3001, © CAMD 2023
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