When he joined Tate Modern in 2009 he was Tate’s very first photography curator – but now Simon Baker is on the move, succeeding Jean-Luc Monterosso as the director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. Monterosso, who founded the MEP back in 1996, will leave the institution on 31 March.
The news comes just weeks after Shoair Mavlian, assistant curator at Tate Modern, announced she was leaving the institution to become Photoworks’ new director. In October 2017 Kate Bush joined Tate Britain as its adjunct curator of photography, however, responsible for “researching and building the collection of British photography and curating exhibitions and displays”. In September 2017, Tate announced that it had acquired Martin Parr’s 12,000-strong photobook collection, making it one of the leading institutional collectors in this field.
Baker entered the Tate as a curator in the International Photography and Art Department at Tate Modern, and was appointed chief curator of the department in 2015, mainly charged with developing the acquisition strategy, conservation and exposure of photography in the institution. He has curated numerous Tate exhibitions, including Boris Mikhailov, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Guy Bourdin, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and the recent Salt and Silver (2015), Nick Waplington/Alexander McQueen: Working Progress (2015), Performing for the camera (2016), and The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection (2016).
Baker was pre-selected for his new role at MEP by a jury chaired by Jean-François Dubos (president of the MEP), and made up of Xavier Canonne (director of the Charleroi Museum of Photography), Alain Fleischer (director of Fresnoy – National Studio of Contemporary Arts), Françoise Gaillard (vice MEP Board Chair), Jean-Louis Milin (MEP Board Treasurer), Agnès Sire (General Secretary of the MEP Board) and three representatives from the City of Paris. His appointment was approved by the MEP board of directors on 24 January 2018.
For more information, visit the MEP website https://www.mep-fr.org/event/simon-baker-nouveau-directeur-de-la-mep/