Manchester Art Gallery

Alistair Hudson appointed as new Director for Manchester Art Gallery and The University of Manchester’s Whitworth

The University of Manchester and Manchester City Council have today announced that Alistair Hudson, currently Director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), will be the new Director of Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth.

Alistair will take up his role in the New Year. He succeeds Maria Balshaw at the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery following her appointment as Director of Tate earlier this year.

I am completely thrilled to be taking up this post in Manchester. The city’s cultural scene is one of the most dynamic and diverse in the country and Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth are at the heart of this. Maria Balshaw and her teams have established both institutions at the forefront of the democratisation of art, working for all of society. I look forward to driving this mission forward and working across the region in projects that have real impact in people’s lives.

Alistair Hudson

He brings with him a wealth of experience at the forefront of the culture sector and a strong record of championing art as a tool for social change and education. During the last three years as Director at mima, he set out the institution’s vision as a ‘Useful Museum’, successfully engaging its local communities and responding to the town’s industrial heritage, as well as placing it amongst the most prestigious galleries in the UK.

Alistair began his career at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London (1994-2000), before joining The Government Art Collection (2000-04) where, as Projects Curator, he devised a public art strategy for the new Home Office building with Liam Gillick.

As Deputy Director of Grizedale Arts (2004-14) in the Lake District, he helped the institution gain critical acclaim for its radical approaches to working with artists and communities, based on the idea that art should be useful and not just an object of contemplation.

Outside of these roles he is also Chair of Culture Forum North, an open network of partnerships between Higher Education and the cultural sector across the North and co-director of the Asociación de Arte Útil with Tania Bruguera. He was a 2015 jury member for the Turner Prize.

The full press release is available here.


2 responses to “Alistair Hudson appointed as new Director for Manchester Art Gallery and The University of Manchester’s Whitworth”

  1. Mathrew Brown says:

    Very good. Would it be possible please to put back on display Stanley Spencer’s A village in heaven, which I believe the Manchester Art Gallery owns?

  2. Michael Rothwell says:

    I hope to see less of an American influence in representation going forward and more Scandinavian,
    German and French artists. Also a permanent room for working class images, imagery and iconographic works. And an exhibition by the modern artist Mark Rothwell.

  3. Dear Mr Hudson, I have a 1984 catalogue of a Henry Lamb exhibition which the Manchester City Art Gallery put on in that year. In it reference is made to two known portraits of Dorleia John wearing what might be termed a Russian style hat but that neither of these could be traced.
    I happen to know where at least one of these pictures was in 1971 , namely owned by a man called Arnold Palmer (but not the golfer) somewhere in the south of England. I published it in an anthology of art and literature in 1971, with Mr Palmer’s permission. I still have a copy of this journal, which I called Words Etcetera, and can send you an image of it, if that might be of interest. I am afraid I have no knowledge of where Arnold Palmer is but feel almost certain he is dead. He was an old man when I met him in 1971,when I saw the drawing on his wall and fell in love with it.

    • Martin Grimes says:

      Hello Julian, thanks for getting in touch. We’ll forward your message to our curators who may be able to investigate further.

  4. I was thrilled to hear about Alastair Hudson’s appointment and would love to get in touch with him about an exciting proposal for an exhibition. What is the best way to do that?

    • Martin Grimes says:

      Hi Adrienne, thank you for getting in touch. Unfortunately, due to the very high volume of proposals we receive, we regret that we are unable to review unsolicited proposals from individuals or artist representatives. We wish you all the best with the exhibition. Kind regards

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