The Art Fund have announced today that Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum has won this year’s £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 has wowed hundreds of thousands of visitors with its dramatically reinterpreted displays.
Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chairman of the Art Fund Prize judges panel, said, “The new Royal Albert Memorial Museum is quite simply a magical place, modest in scale but vast in its ambition and imagination. The Victorian aspirations to bring the world to Exeter are stunningly realised through some of the most intelligently considered displays on view in any museum in the UK.
“Every exhibit delights with a new surprise, and provokes with a new question, and at a time when local authority museums in particular are in such danger, this brilliant achievement proves how daring, adventurous and important such institutions can be.”
The shortlist had been announced for the tenth year of the Art Fund Prize. A Victorian gallery, an acclaimed new building, a local museum and a national institution are in the running to claim the £100,000 prize and be named Museum of the Year.
The shortlisted museums and galleries were:
• The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire
• Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter
• The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
• Watts Gallery, Guildford
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.”