Search begins for Art Fund Museum of the Year - Museums Association

Search begins for Art Fund Museum of the Year

Museums, galleries and historic houses invited to apply for £160,000 prize
Art Fund Awards
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Simon Stephens
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Gairloch Museum, co-winner of Museum of the Year 2020
Gairloch Museum, co-winner of Museum of the Year 2020 © Marc Atkins/Art Fund 2020

The Art Fund Museum of the Year is open for applications from museums, galleries and historic houses in the UK.

The award is the world’s largest museum prize, with this year’s winner receiving £100,000, while each of the four other finalists will receive £15,000 – an increase of £5,000 on previous years.

“The pandemic has seen museums, galleries and historic houses face their greatest challenge in living memory,” said Jenny Waldman, the director of the Art Fund.

“The doors had to close for much of the last year, but so many museums have found imaginative ways to serve their local communities, connect with new audiences and share their collections digitally. It is nothing short of heroic. I would encourage all museums to tell us what has been achieved against the odds, so that we can reward, celebrate and share this incredible work with everyone.”

The 2021 judging panel, chaired by Waldman, features Maria Balshaw, director of Tate and chair of the National Museum Directors’ Council; Katrina Brown, director of The Common Guild and Art Fund trustee; Suhair Khan, strategic projects lead at Google; and artist Thomas J Price.

The closing date for applications is 1 June. A shortlist of five museums will be announced in mid-July and the winner revealed in the autumn.

Last year’s awards saw the prize money shared equally between the five winners: Aberdeen Art Gallery; Gairloch Museum; Science Museum; South London Gallery; and Towner Eastbourne.

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