Nominations announced for Museum of the Year prize

The Art Fund has announced the finalists for its Museum of the Year prize, which ‘highlights the innovative and creative ways that museums bring objects and collections to life’, focusing on activity that took place last year.

The Horniman Museum entrance
The Horniman Museum entrance

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.

Among the ten finalists are the Hepworth Wakefield, which was also shortlisted for the award last year and the Horniman Museum in South London, which was rebranded by Hat-Trick in June last year.

 Hepworth Wakefield

Source: c Iwan Baan

Hepworth Wakefield

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.

William Morris Gallery

Source: c Pringle Richards Sharratt

William Morris Gallery

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.

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