Chief Curator at Tate Modern since 2001, Wagstaff devises the strategic plan and conception of an extensive international program of major exhibitions, turbine hall commissions and collection displays. She has conceived a number of innovative initiatives including the Untitled series of contemporary global artists' projects and new program strands for photography, live art, performance and film. Recent exhibitions she has curated include Edward Hopper (2004), Jeff Wall: Photographs 1978-2004 (2005), Global Cities (2007) and Juan Muñoz A Retrospective (2008). Wagstaff is also chief design client for Tate Modern working directly with the architects on a new museum building, opening in 2012.
Wagstaff joined Tate in 1998 as Head of Exhibitions & Displays at Tate Britain. Devising the inaugural 3 year program of exhibition and collection displays, she also created a new curatorial team, at the same time as effecting a seamless transition from Tate Gallery’s program to that of Tate Britain. In addition, she curated Mona Hatoum and launched a new series of contemporary responses to the work of JMW Turner, curating the first exhibition Darren Almond.
From 1993-8, Wagstaff was Director of Collections, Exhibitions & Education at the Frick Art Museum, Pittsburgh where she created a contemporary and historic program. She served on the Museums’ Panel for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Harrisburg and was selected cultural leader for Leadership Pittsburgh .
Previously she worked at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. She was the first British participant in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program.
Wagstaff’s current professional affiliations include being an elected board member of CIMAM (International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern Art), the founding Advisory Board for the London/Damascus Delfina Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh and the International Advisory Council for Istanbul Modern.