Hayward Gallery Nominated For Museum of the Year Prize 2014

The Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery which opened its doors in 1968, is one of the world’s most adventurous and innovative contemporary art galleries. Annually, Hayward Gallery presents a wide range of exhibitions in London and, through its Hayward Touring programme, shows exhibitions of both national and regional importance, which were seen in 2013 by 750,000 people in around fifty towns and cities.

The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year, awarded annually with a value of £100,000, was established in 2003 (formally the Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries 2003-2007) to recognise the very best of the UK’s internationally acclaimed museums. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the National Gallery in London on Wednesday 9 July 2014.

The finalists were chosen by an independent panel of judges chaired by Art Fund director, Stephen Deuchar.  The judges are: Sally Bacon, director of the Clore Duffield Foundation; Michael Craig-Martin RA, artist; Wim Pijbes director of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; and Anna Somers Cocks, chief executive of The Art Newspaper.

2013 was an exceptional year for the Hayward Gallery and Hayward Touring. Hayward Gallery exhibitions included Light Show, which attracted 190,000 visitors, many of whom had not visited the gallery before and Alternative Guide to the Universe, which explored the work of self-taught artists, architects, fringe artists and those who reinvent the world we live in. Two further shows, a retrospective of Ana Mendieta: Traces and an exhibition by Dayanita Singh: Go Away Closer brought the work of both artists to a wider audience, some of it never having been seen by the public before.

Hayward Touring organised many exhibitions in 2013 including four new, highly-eclectic shows:The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, curated by artist Mark Leckey;Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, curated by writer Brian Dillon and organised in collaboration with Turner Contemporary and Cabinet magazine; All That is Solid Melts Into Air, curated by artist Jeremy Deller; and two Arts Council Collection exhibitions, Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences and Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain, 1966-1979.  The programme brought intriguing combinations of contemporary art, historical artefacts and masterpieces to enthusiastic audiences in all corners of the UK.

Ralph Rugoff, Director, the Hayward Gallery, said, “We are thrilled to be nominated for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year Prize 2014. 2013 was an exceptional and exciting year for the Hayward Gallery and for Hayward Touring. We welcomed new audiences to our touring programme and have continued to curate the unexpected and unknown whilst encouraging a strong and enriching engagement with visual arts for a broad range of audiences in London and across the UK.”

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre, said, “Everything we do at the Hayward Gallery and in our Hayward National Touring Programme is motivated by the excitement of connecting fantastic artists to the widest possible audience. At Southbank Centre we are constantly looking to enrich the way art is experienced across the UK. Ralph Rugoff, the Director of the Hayward Gallery, and Roger Malbert, the Head of Hayward Touring, have built a wonderful programme of which we are very proud.”

Stephen Deuchar, chair of the judges, said, “2013 was a strong year, by any standards, for UK museums and it was no easy task to select a shortlist of six from an extraordinary body of applications.    It is almost as if imaginative and innovative curatorship, combined with the highest standards of presentation, is no longer the exception but the rule.  No wonder that the international reputation of UK museums is riding so high, and we’re delighted that the Museum of the Year will salute this through both the process of the competition and, of course, the £100,000 Prize.”

The six finalist museums are:  Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, East Sussex; Hayward Gallery, London; The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth; Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich; Tate Britain, London; and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield.

Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2014

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