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Art Fund Prize

February 07, 2012

The Holburne Museum in the running to win £100,000 as Art Fund Prize 2012 longlist is announced

The Holburne Museum in Bath has today been longlisted for the Art Fund Prize 2012, the UK’s annual ‘museum of the year’ award, and the biggest prize for arts and cultural organisations in the country. Ten museums in total across the country are in with the chance to win £100,000 and the prestigious award, which will be announced on 19 June 2012.

‘Have Your Say’ online forum
Also launching today is the opportunity for local champions of each of the longlisted museums to say why their chosen museum should win the Art Fund Prize 2012. Members of the public are invited to log on to www.artfundprize.org.uk and leave their comments, a selection of which will be presented to the judges to consider when they come to decide the shortlist. Anyone who posts a comment will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad 2. The forum and prize draw close at 11.59pm on Sunday 22 April 2012.

The Holburne Museum reopened in May 2011 following a £11.2 million refurbishment. The new extension, designed by acclaimed architect Eric Parry, has doubled the display space available in the museum.  Over 100,000 people visited the museum within the first sixth months of reopening.

Alexander Sturgis, Director of Bath’s Holburne Museum said, ‘We are delighted to have been longlisted for this year’s Art Fund Prize. The Museum has been open for less than a year following our three year development project, but the welcome back has been extraordinary. We have exceeded our own targets and rewarded the faith that the Heritage Lottery Fund and all our supporters placed in us.

The Holburne’s beautiful contemporary extension by Eric Parry Architects has fulfilled our ambition to allow the Museum, the building and setting, and our collection to sing. Inspiring displays by Metaphor have allowed the works on show to be accessible on many different levels and transformed the public’s enjoyment of our collection with the perfect marriage of old and new.’

Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chair of the Judges, said: “Whittling the achievements of Britain’s museums over the past year down to a list of ten was an unbelievably challenging task. The outstanding quality of the projects that we finally settled on, however, perfectly encapsulates the vitality and dynamism of a part of our nation’s cultural life that continues to innovate, push boundaries and engage the public, even in these straitened times.”

The ten longlisted museums are:
• Bletchley Park,  Milton Keynes, Bucks.: The Life and Works of Alan Turing
• M Shed, Bristol: A New Museum for Bristol
• National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland Development
• Riverside Museum, Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel, Glasgow: Riverside Museum Project
• Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, Devon: RAMM Development Project
• The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, West Yorkshire: The Hepworth Wakefield
• The Holburne Museum, Bath, Somerset: The Holburne Museum Development Project
• The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh: Portrait of the Nation
• Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent: Turner Contemporary
• Watts Gallery, Guildford, Surrey: The Watts Gallery Hope Project

The Art Fund Prize 2012 rewards excellence and innovation in museums and galleries in the UK for a project completed or undertaken in 2011. Following a shortlist of four museums to be announced on 14 May, the £100,000 cash prize will be awarded to the ‘Museum of the Year’ at a ceremony at the British Museum on 19 June. The annual prize has been awarded since 2003.

Penelope, Viscountess Cobham, Chairman of The Museum Prize Trust said: “We are delighted to see such a strong and varied longlist in this tenth year of awarding the Museum Prize. It is testament to the extraordinary work that is happening around the country in museums and galleries that the 2012 Art Fund Prize longlist showcases excellence, innovation and audience engagement at all levels.”

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: “This year’s Art Fund Prize longlist truly reveals the creativity and ambition of museums and galleries beyond London.  The vitality of our cultural treasures nationwide is a hugely important resource, and the Art Fund is extremely proud to celebrate these museums’ achievements through its sponsorship of the ‘museum of the year’ prize.”

The longlist was chosen by a panel of experts chaired by Lord Smith of Finsbury, former Labour MP and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The other judges are Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE, theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster; Charlotte Higgins, Guardian journalist and author; Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, author and broadcaster; Sir Mark Jones, Master at St Cross College, Oxford and former V&A director; Rick Mather, architect; and Lisa Milroy, artist and Head of Graduate Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.

The shortlist of four museums will be announced on 14 May 2012 and the winner on 19 June 2012.

‘Have Your Say’ online forum
Also launching today is the opportunity for local champions of each of the longlisted museums to say why their chosen museum should win the Art Fund Prize 2012. Members of the public are invited to log on to www.artfundprize.org.uk and leave their comments, a selection of which will be presented to the judges to consider when they come to decide the shortlist. Anyone who posts a comment will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad 2. The forum and prize draw close at 11.59pm on Sunday 22 April 2012.

Clore Award for Museum Learning

Organised under the umbrella of the Art Fund Prize, the longlist for the Clore Award for Museum Learning was also announced today. Supported by the Clore Duffield Foundation, the £10,000 award recognises and celebrates quality, impact and innovation in using museums and galleries for learning activities and initiatives. The award is judged by a separate panel co-chaired by Dame Vivien Duffield DBE, Chairman of the Clore Duffield Foundation and Sally Bacon, Executive Director.

The longlisted museum learning initiatives are
:
• Camden Arts Centre, Get The Message
• Florence Nightingale Museum, Our Generation’s Re-interpretation
• Jersey Heritage, My History Scrapbooks and Discovery Days
• Leicestershire County Council Heritage and Arts Service, Held in the Hand and Touch Tables
• Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Treasures from the Earth
• The Geffrye Museum of the Home, Stories of the World: London
• The Quilt Museum and Gallery, Unfolding the Quilts
• The Whitworth Art Gallery, The Manchester Early Years Partnership
• Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A Schools Team Collaboration with Seymourpowell
• Yorkshire Museum, Celebrating Severus

More information on the Clore Award for Museum Learning can be found at www.artfundprize.org.uk/clore-award

Ten Years of the Museum Prize
2012 is the tenth year of the Art Fund Prize for Museums (formerly the Gulbenkian Prize).

The past winners are:
2003 National Centre for Citizenship and the Law, Galleries of Justice, Nottingham
2004 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
2005 Big Pit: the National Mining Museum of Wales
2006 Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol
2007 Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, East Sussex
2008 The Lightbox gallery and museum, Woking
2009 Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent
2010 The Ulster Museum, Belfast
2011 The British Museum, for A History of the World
Ends

Press contact: Philip Abraham, PR Manager, the Art Fund
pabraham@artfund.org /

Katie Jenkins, Communications Manager, The Holburne Museum
k.jenkins@bath.ac.uk /

Notes to Editors
The Art Fund Prize is administered by The Museum Prize, a charitable company created in 2001 by representatives of National Heritage, the Museums Association, the Art Fund and the Campaign for Museums and chaired by Lady Cobham. These organisations agreed to put aside award schemes they formerly ran (including National Heritage’s Museum of the Year) and lend their support to this single major prize.
The Art Fund has sponsored The Museum Prize since 2008. The Art Fund is the national charity which helps museums and galleries to buy, show and share art for the enjoyment of all. Over the past five years, the Art Fund has given £24 million to buy art and supported a range of projects and programmes aimed at helping more people enjoy art. The Art Fund is independently funded and the majority of its income comes from almost 90,000 supporters who purchase a National Art Pass, costing from just £37.50, which gives free entry to over 200 museums, galleries and historic houses across the country as well as 50% off major exhibitions.
Find out more about the Art Fund and how to buy a National Art Pass at www.artfund.org.uk.The press office can be reached on or media@artfund.org
The Clore Duffield Foundation is chaired by Dame Vivien Duffield DBE and has a strong focus on supporting cultural learning, particularly within museums and galleries and at heritage sites. www.cloreduffield.org.uk. It is one of the founding partners of the Cultural Learning Alliance, a collective voice working to ensure that all children and young people have meaningful access to culture in this difficult economic climate. www.culturallearningalliance.org.uk

Published on: 07/02/2012