Judges ignore public choice for Art Fund Prize shortlist - Museums Association

Judges ignore public choice for Art Fund Prize shortlist

Four contenders for £100,000 Museum of the Year award revealed
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Rebecca Atkinson
The museum that topped the 2011 Art Fund Prize public poll has not made it onto the shortlist for the £100,000 accolade.

An online poll allowing the public to back their favourite longlisted museum saw Manchester’s People’s History Museum gain top spot with 26.3% of the vote.

But it did not make it onto the final shortlist. Instead, the Art Fund Prize panel of judges has revealed the museums in the running for this year's prize are: the British Museum (for a History of the World); the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum; the Roman Baths Museum; and the Polar Museum.

The public poll saw the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and the Roman Baths Museum (pictured) come in second and third place with 14.3% and 13% of votes respectively, while the British Museum came in fifth place with 7.5%. The Polar Museum came ninth with 5.2%.

For the remaining longlisted museums, the results were as follows: the Yorkshire Museum (9.2%); the Victoria & Albert Museum (7.3%); Hertford Museum (7.1%); Leighton House Museum (6.6%); and Mostyn (3.5%).

The judging panel, which is chaired by broadcaster and former Conservative MP Michael Portillo, visited all of the 10 longlisted museums and art galleries ahead of making its selection.

Portillo said: “Choosing a shortlist was not easy but we are agreed that these four museums and galleries exhibit remarkable innovation and flair, which excited us and clearly draws in the general public too.”

A second public poll has now opened for the shortlisted museums.


Meanwhile, the shortlist for the inaugural Clore Award for Museum Learning has also been announced.

The five contenders for the £10,000 award are: Museums Sheffield: Weston Park, Sheffield, for With Sheba and Arwa (Belonging); National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth for Face to Face: Documenting experiences of conflict; South London Gallery, London for Making Play; The Pitt Rivers Museum and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford for Making Museums; and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, Newcastle upon Tyne for Culture Shock.
Supported by the Clore Duffield Foundation, the new award recognises quality, impact and innovation in using museums and galleries for learning activities and initiatives.

The winners of both prizes will be announced at a ceremony at Tate Britain on 15 June.


The Art Fund Prize shortlist public poll

Read an interview with Michael Portillo, chairman of this year's Art Fund Prize, in the May issue of Museums Journal


This story was updated to include the shortlisted museums for the Clore Learning Award.

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