Six museums shortlisted for Museum of the Year 2015 - Museums Association

Six museums shortlisted for Museum of the Year 2015

The Whitworth, IWM London and the MAC are all contenders
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Rebecca Atkinson
Six museums have been shortlisted for the £100,000 Art Fund Prize Museum of the Year award 2015.

The recently reopened Whitworth in Manchester has been shortlisted for the prize, alongside Imperial War Museum London and Oxford University Museum of Natural History, which both reopened in 2014

Dunham Massey, a National Trust property in Altrincham, and the HM Tower of London, part of Historic Royal Palaces, have been nominated for their respective work commemorating the centenary of the first world war. And the MAC in Belfast, an arts venue that opened in 2012, was shortlisted in recognition of the success of its 2014 events programmes, including the inaugural MAC International exhibition.

The winner will be announced at an awards dinner at Tate Modern on 1 July, following a debate on issues affecting museums featuring senior staff from the six shortlisted museums.

This year’s judging panel is chaired by Stephen Deuchar, the director of the Art Fund, and members include the artist Michael Landy and Axel Rüger, the director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

“This is by any measure an exciting and diverse shortlist, showing great heights of creativity and ambition,” Deuchar says. “Despite a difficult environment of funding cuts, UK museums continue to be inventive, surprising and exhilarating.”

The British documentary photographer and photojournalist Martin Parr is the official photographer for the Museum of the Year, and has created a collection of photographs celebrating each museum.

He is also a judge of the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year National Photography Competition, which invites members of the public to submit their own photographs of the shortlisted museums. The deadline for entries is 31 May.

In a new partnership with the BBC, a series of broadcasts will take place on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 and BBC News Online in the run-up to July’s announcement. The Art Fund said this will enable a widespread national debate about the value of the UK’s museums.

The Museum of the Year was won by Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2014 and London's William Morris Gallery in 2013.

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