The Whitworth in Manchester has scooped this year’s Museum of the Year accolade and will receive £100,000 from the Art Fund Prize.
It is the largest arts award in Britain and has been given in recognition for the way the Whitworth has “engaged with its public” and connected new buildings, existing buildings and surrounding parkland as part of its recent £15 million renovation led by architect MUMA.
Judges also recognised the museum’s record breaking figures since reopening earlier this year.
Chairman of judges and director of the Art Fund Stephen Deuchar says, “The transformation of the Whitworth – architecturally, curatorially, and as a destination – has been one of the great museum achievements of recent years. Its galleries offer intellectual, visual and creative stimulus of the highest order; the collections are innovatively presented, the community engagement programmes are both original and unusual, and the visitor experience is exceptional throughout.
“We were particularly taken with the relationship between the reconceived building and its surrounding park: museum, locality and community merge as if one. And in a wider sense the Whitworth has changed the landscape: it truly feels like a museum of the future.”
The Whitworth saw off competition from shortlisted museums: Dunham Massey (National Trust), Altrincham; HM Tower of London (Historic Royal Palaces); The MAC, Belfast; and Oxford University Museum of Natural History.