The Art Fund Prize for Museums and Galleries has renamed the prize ‘Museum of The Year’ and changed its criteria for applying. Any accredited museum or gallery may now apply for the prize; in previous years the main criteria was a new project or redevelopment in the past 12 months. Each year the Art Fund celebrates the very best UK museums and galleries, objects and collections to life. An independent panel of judges comes together to put the spotlight on museums battling it out for the Prize, and crown the winner ‘Museum of the Year’ at a prestigious ceremony in London. In conjunction with the Prize we also run the Clore Award for Museum Learning which recognises achievements in learning programmes in UK museums.
Museum of the Year 2013: Application forms for and further details about the 2013 Prize will be available to download on this page from 2 January 2013. If you’d like to register your interest in applying for the Prize, please email Rachael Browning at email@example.com. If you’d like to receive updates about the Prize and hear more about our activity, sign up for our e-newsletter for museum professionals.
Judging panel 2013: Chaired by Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar, the panel includes the Daily Telegraph’s Arts Editor Sarah Crompton, writer and broadcaster Bettany Hughes, historian Tristram Hunt MP and artist Bob and Roberta Smith. As they search for the Museum of the Year, the judges will draw on their experience, enthusiasm and knowledge of museum culture to explore some of the UK’s most innovative and creative museums and galleries.
Previous Museum of the Year winners: Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) won the 2012 Art Fund Prize for its stunning £24 million transformation. Praised by the judges for its ‘ambition and imagination’, the museum has dramatically reinterpreted its display of over a million fascinating objects – from gemstones and taxidermy to medieaval coins and modern art.
In 2011 the British Museum was crowned winner for A History of the World, the innovative project that used individual objects to bring history to life for millions around the world. The British Museum used the £100,000 prize money to fund a spotlight tour of star objects.
The history of the Prize: The Museum Prize Trust was set up in 2001 to create a major annual prize for museums and galleries in the UK. Between 2003 and 2008 the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation was the principal funder and we have sponsored the prize since 2009. You can see a full list of the winners, nominated museums and judges from the past ten years or browse through our gallery above.