The Art Newspaper can reveal that Tate is to lose its director of collections, Jan Debbaut. Working under Sir Nicholas Serota, he is one of the key players, along with the directors of Tate Britain (Stephen Deuchar) and TateModern (Vicente Todoli).
Mr Debbaut, from Belgium, joined Tate in September 2003 and is responsible for the care of the collection, research and acquisitions. He will be leaving in the early spring, but is not moving to another job. We understand that Mr Debbaut decided he was more interested in curating, rather than continuing in an administrative role.
Speaking to a Belgian newsletter shortly after joining Tate, he compared his previous post as head of Eindhoven’s Van Abbemuseum with working at the much larger London gallery: “The Tate is sometimes slower and more bureaucratic...I don’t mean that in a negative way; the existence of many stakeholders implies that before you do anything you have to check with all of them.”
Mr Debbaut is now likely to do freelance curating. No decision has yet been made on whether Mr Debbaut’s post will continue in its present form.
Originally appeared in the Art Newspaper as 'Director of collections resigns'