Six finalists announced for Museum of the Year 2014

Tate Britain, Mary Rose Museum and Ditchling Museum shortlisted
Gwendolyn Smith
Tate Britain, the Mary Rose Museum and Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft are among six museums in the running for the Art Fund’s £100,000 Museum of the Year prize 2014.

The other finalists are London’s Hayward Gallery, Norwich’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield.

Tate Britain was selected as a finalist for its £45m redevelopment project, BP Walk Through British Art, despite facing recent criticism from art critic Waldemar Januszczak over its direction. The work included building restoration, gallery refurbishment and a chronological rehang.

Ditchling Museum in East Sussex reopened 2013 after a major redevelopment that included a new contemporary structure to connect its different buildings.

The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth opened in May 2013 and displays the surviving hull of the ship and restored artefacts. 

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts opened new facilities and a redisplay of its permanent collection last year, while two buildings at Yorkshire Sculpture Park will reopen later this year.

Stephen Deuchar, chairman of the judges and director of the Art Fund, called the body of applications “extraordinary”.

He said: “It is almost as if imaginative and innovative curatorship, combined with the highest standards of presentation, is no longer the exception but the rule. No wonder that the international reputation of UK museums is riding so high.”

The overall winner will be announced at a ceremony at the National Gallery in London on 9 July 2014. Last year's winner was the William Morris Gallery in London.

As part of the prize, the Art Fund is also launching the Museum of the Year photography competition sponsored by Frui Creative Holidays and Courses, which offers photographers the chance to win a holiday to Italy if they submit pictures of the finalist museums.

The Museum of the Year prize was set up in 2003 to recognize the best of the UK’s museums. Formally the Gulbenkian Prize and the Art Fund Prize, it has been supported by the Art Fund since 2008.

Last year the Art Fund announced that the £10,000 Clore Award for Museum Learning had been incorporated into the main prize.

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