Gulbenkian gong for Pallant House Gallery

Pallant House Gallery in West Sussex, the home to small collections of 20th century British art, has triumphed to win the £100 000 Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries.

The gallery beat off competition from three other shortlisted venues including Kew Palace in London, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow and Weston Park Museum in Sheffield.

Situated in Chichester, Pallant House Gallery was awarded the prize for its £8.6m modern gallery extension, co-designed by architects Long and Kentish and Professor Sir Colin St John Wilson, who died two weeks ago.

The judges applauded the venue’s ‘vibrant relationship between old and new’, as well as the ‘approach to presenting this “collection of collections”, which reflected the passions of individuals who had made gifts to the gallery’.

Visitors to the gallery can see work by artists such as Peter Blake, David Bomberg, Patrick Caulfield, Walter Sickert and Graham Sutherland.

It is also one of the first galleries in the UK to install a geothermal heating and cooling system, cutting its carbon emissions by 40-50 per cent.

The building project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, individual donors, trusts and foundations, Chichester District Council, the Arts Council of England and the Friends of Pallant House.

As well as receiving the £100 000 Gulbenkian Prize, the gallery will be presented with a silver enamelled bowl designed by metal artist Vladimir Bohm, which they will hold for a year.

Pallant House Gallery trustees plan to put the money into their endowment fund, which they are aiming to grow to a stage where they will have sufficient core funding to offer free entry.

A total of ten museum and gallery projects were considered for the prize, including Braintree District Museum for the Warner Textile Archive in Essex, the De La Warr Pavilion in East Sussex for its relaunch programme and the Horniman Museum in London for its aquarium.

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