The YBA Artist Michael Landy has been selected as a judge for this years £100,000 Art Fund Museum of the Year Prize. The 2015 panel will be chaired by the Art Funds’ Stephen Deuchar, along with design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn; the books and arts editor of The Economist, Fiammetta Rocco; and the director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Axel Rüger. The shortlisted museums will be revealed on Thursday 23 April 2015, and the award ceremony – where the winner is announced – will take place at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall on Wednesday 1 July 2015.
The award-winning Magnum photographer Martin Parr is the official Museum of the Year 2015 photographer. He will create a special portfolio of images of the shortlisted museums, and will also judge the Museum of the Year photography competition, which invites members of the public to photograph the finalist museums in new, interesting ways. The photography competition will open on 23 April, when the shortlist is announced.
The £100,000 Prize is the largest arts award in Britain and the biggest museum prize in the world. It is awarded to the museum or gallery in the UK that is judged to have best demonstrated excellence, innovation and imagination.
Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: ‘The UK is home to the world’s finest museums. Our arts, culture and heritage are internationally admired and we are home to some of the world’s brightest and most creative minds. The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year is a showcase for the groundbreaking work that we see across the country each year. This is an important opportunity to celebrate the best that British museums and galleries have to offer.’
Yorkshire Sculpture Park was named Museum of the Year 2014. Its director, Peter Murray, commented on the impact of receiving the Prize: ‘We were honoured to be named Art Fund Museum of the Year 2014. It is a great testament to the commitment and determination of everyone at Yorkshire Sculpture Park who has worked hard over many years to establish our international reputation.
‘Already we have seen the impact of the Prize with increased visitor numbers – to date we are up 40% on 2013/14 and hope to break our previous record, [thanks to] fantastic media coverage, new opportunities arising and the validation of our peers. The Art Fund is a pleasure to work with: they truly understand what YSP is about and their support is invaluable. These are challenging times but the Prize is a wonderful recognition of our work and has given us the motivation and enthusiasm to continue to move forward.’
The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year will continue to partner with VocalEyes, a charity that provides access to arts and heritage for blind and partially sighted people. As well as creating audio descriptions of our finalist museums, VocalEyes will offer visual awareness training opportunities for staff and volunteers at the museums to ensure they are equipped to greet and guide blind and partially sighted visitors.