British photographic history

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Tate Modern's Simon Baker leaves for Paris

Senior Curator International Art (Photography) at Tate Modern, London, Simon Baker, has been appointed director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, in Paris, effective from 24 January 2018. He succeeds Jean-Luc Monterosso, director and founder of the institution, whose term ends on 31 March, 2018. Monterosso has run the Maison Européenne de la Photographie since it opened in 1996 and was also the founder in 1978, with Henry Chapier, Francis Balagna and Marcel Landowski, from the Paris Audiovisual Association that foreshadowed the creation of the MEP.

Preselected by a jury chaired by Jean-François Dubos (president of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie) and made up of Xavier Canonne (director of the Charleroi Photography Museum), Alain Fleischer (director of the Fresnoy - National Studio of Contemporary Arts), Françoise Gaillard (vice-president of the Board of the MEP), Jean-Louis Milin (treasurer of the board of the MEP), Agnès Sire (general secretary of the Board of the MEP) and three representatives of the City of Paris, Baker's appointment  has been approved by the Board of Directors of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie.

A Ph.D. in art history, a graduate of the University College of London (UCL), he was a professor of Art History at the University of Nottingham (2004-2009). He joined Tate Modern in 2009 as a curator at the International Photography and Art Department, before being senior curator of the same department in 2015, rethinking Tate's strategy of acquisition, conservation and orientation of exhibitions.

At Tate, Simon Baker has directed major exhibitions including those devoted to Boris Mikhailov, Sirkka-Liisa Kontin, Guy Bourdin, Yutaka Takanashi, Bernd and Hilla Becher. Recently, Salt and Silver (2015), Nick Waplington / Alexander McQueen: Working Progress, Performing for the camera and The radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir John Elton Collection (2016) were among the most recognized.

Baker was Tate’s first Curator of Photography. Since his appointment in 2009 he has worked on acquisitions, displays of the permanent collection and exhibitions at both Tate Modern and Tate Britain, and in advisory roles for Tate St Ives and Tate Liverpool. Major exhibitions on which he has worked include William Klein + Daido Moriyama (2012) and Conflict, Time, Photography (2014). He has also been responsible, with colleagues, for establishing and running the Photography Acquisitions Committee and thereby overseeing the strategic expansion of Tate’s collection of photographs.

This month it was announced that Tate Modern's Assistant Curator of photography since 2011, Shoair Mavlian, had been appointed Director of Photoworks. Last October Kate Bush was appointed Adjunct Curator of Photography at Tate Britain. 

See more here:  www.mep-fr.org

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