Tate St Ives has won the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 award. This is the largest and most prestigious museum prize in the world. Anne Barlow, Director of Tate St Ives, was presented with the £100,000 prize by artist Isaac Julien and the ‘world’s best teacher’ Andria Zafirakou at an award ceremony at the V&A, London on the 5th July.
‘Tate St Ives tells the story of the artists who have lived and worked in Cornwall in an international context’
The winner was chosen from five finalists: Brooklands Museum(Weybridge),Ferens Art Gallery(Hull), Glasgow Women’s Library, The Postal Museum(London) and Tate St Ives (Cornwall). Each of the other finalist museums received a £10,000 prize in recognition of their achievements.
Among the 400 guests at the dinner hosted by Stephen Deuchar, director, Art Fund were: Artists: Ron Arad, David Batchelor, Mat Collishaw, Michael Craig-Martin, Roger Hiorns, Gary Hume, Chantal Joffe, Isaac Julien, Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell, Lawrence Lek, Peter Liversidge, Junko Mori, Humphrey Ocean, Cornelia Parker, Grayson Perry, Gerald Scarfe, Yinka Shonibare, Bob & Roberta Smith, Linder Sterling, Mitra Tabrizian, Gavin Turk, Gillian Wearing, Stephen Willats and Bill Woodrow.
Arts leaders: Maria Balshaw, Peter Bazalgette, Iwona Blazwick, Nicholas Cullinan, Michael Ellis MP, Alex Farquharson, Gabriele Finaldi, Tristram Hunt, Jay Jopling, Diane Lees, Jonathan Marsden, Nick Merriman, Munira Mirza, Frances Morris, Maureen Paley, Axel Rüger, Ralph Rugoff, and Nicholas Serota.
The biggest museum prize in the world, Art Fund Museum of the Year seeks out and celebrate innovation, imagination and exceptional achievement in museums and galleries across the UK. The judges award £100,000 to one outstanding winner and £10,000 to each other finalist.
The judges for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 were: Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group; Stephen Deuchar, Director, Art Fund (chair); Rebecca Jones, BBC arts correspondent; Melanie Manchot, artist; and Monisha Shah, independent media consultant and Art Fund trustee.
Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director and chair of the judges, said: ‘Tate St Ives tells the story of the artists who have lived and worked in Cornwall in an international context. The new extension to the gallery is deeply intelligent and breathtakingly beautiful, providing the perfect stage for a curatorial programme that is at once adventurous, inclusive and provocative. The judges admired an architect and gallery team who devoted some 12 years to this transformational change, consulting with the local community all the way.’
‘As soon as I walked into Tate St Ives I had an amazingly strong feeling that they’re doing something innovative. I’ve visited before, but now the whole building, the galleries, the views all feel different – they have been given a new lease of life. The extension has not so much been an addition as a complete re-imagining. I was deeply impressed by the passion and knowledge of their guides to the collection and exhibition – all local to the gallery. Though they were closed for18 months during their redevelopment they kept their members, which I feel speaks to a sense of belonging and a new Tate St Ives so much more embedded in its community. For me, it was a profound experience.’ – Judge Melanie Manchot, said.
Tate St Ives
Celebrating the important contribution of 20th-century artists who lived and worked in Cornwall, Tate St Ives reopened in October 2017 following a £20 million refurbishment of its galleries and the addition of an elegant new extension by architect Jamie Fobert, which has since hosted exhibitions dedicated to Rebecca Warren, Virginia Woolf and Patrick Heron. An impressive 11,000 visitors attended the opening weekend. New spaces for display and learning have opened up the collection and the archives, allowing year-round access for the first time to works by artists who were inspired by the unique qualities of Cornwall’s light and landscape – including Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Peter Lanyon, as well as international figures Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo and Paule Vézelay. A renewed engagement with the local community, who played a central role in the 12-year consultation which informed the gallery’s architectural scheme, has meant that more than 7,000 people have registered for the new annual St Ives Locals Pass.
Winners over the past seven years were: the Hepworth Wakefield (2017); V&A (2016); the Whitworth (2015); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2014); William Morris Gallery (2013); Royal Albert Memorial Museum (2012); and the British Museum (2011).