The Museum of the Year winner will receive a £100,000 prize, with another institution receiving the £10,000 Clore Award for Learning, which recognises achievements in learning programmes for children and young people.
Walthamstow’s William Morris Gallery has also made the shortlist, having undergone a £10 million revamp by architect Pringle Richards Sharratt and reopening in August 2012.
The finalists are:
• BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, for its new BALTIC 39 cultural hub of artist studios and a new project space, a partnership between BALTIC and Northumbria University;
• Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury, which opened in September 2012 following a £14 million transformation project to bring under one roof an Art Museum, Library and Visitor Information Centre;
• Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, which last year re-focused its original founder’s aim to display art for the ‘inspection of the public’;
• The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, which in 2012 celebrated its first full year of displaying work from the city’s art collection with exhibitions by contemporary artists and rarely-seen works by Barbara Hepworth;
• Horniman Museum & Gardens, London, which completed a three-year unification project for the museum and gardens last year;
• Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, which last year hosted exhibitions including an Italian art retrospective, a show on band AC/DC and the global launch of Glasgow’s 2018 Youth Olympic Games Bid;
• Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge, which completed a two-year redevelopment last year including a new public entrance and ground-floor refurbishment;
• Narbeth Museum, Pembrokeshire, which the Art Fund says has seen a team of mainly volunteers enable the museum to ‘emerge as a successful contemporary cultural hub in the local area’;
• Preston Park Museum, Stockton-on-Tees, which relaunched last year with a new life-long learning programme; and
• William Morris Gallery, London, which reopened in August 2012 following a major redevelopment with transformed gallery spaces, new education facilities and an orangery-inspired extension overlooking the grounds.
Last year’s winner was Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum, which was awarded the prize for its £24 million transformation.