Applications for the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year prize is now open for 2013. The national fund which also raises money for acquisitions begins its lengthily search to find out which cultural institutions are most popular with the British public. The Art Fund invites members of the community to nominate which inspirational museums should be in the running for the £100,000 prize. This takes place via www.artfund.org/prize, @artfund on Twitter and by Facebook/theartfund. Applications from nominated institutions will then compete for the award.
The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year highlights the many innovative and excellent ways that cultural institutions are bringing their collections to life by exploring the power of objects, telling stories and histories, inspiring audiences, and providing remarkable environments for reflection, illumination and fun. This year’s judging panel is chaired by Art Fund Director, Stephen Deuchar and includes the Daily Telegraph’s Arts Editor, Sarah Crompton, writer and broadcaster Bettany Hughes, historian Tristram Hunt MP and artist Bob and Roberta Smith.
Ten finalists will be revealed in April when the judging panel will begin the process of visiting the museums. The winner will be announced on 4 June 2013, when two prizes will be awarded: £100,000 to the Museum of the Year and £10,000 for the Clore Award for Learning, an award which celebrates museums and galleries that put learning at the heart of what they do. Applications are open until Wednesday 6 February. Application forms and further information on application criteria are available at www.artfund.org/prize.
Last year, Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum won the £100,000 Art Fund Prize and the prestigious title of ‘Museum of the Year’. Since it reopened in 2011 following a £24 million transformation, RAMM wowed hundreds of thousands of visitors with its dramatically reinterpreted displays.
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said, “Taken together, these four terrific institutions offer the perfect snapshot of the best of our museums and galleries – dynamic, forward‐thinking, inclusive and diverse. The Art Fund Prize judges had an extremely difficult decision ahead of them to select a winner.”