Longlist for Art Fund Prize Museum of the Year 2012 announced

By Culture24 Reporter | 08 February 2012
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A photo of an illuminated museum on a darkened waterfront at night
Bristol's M Shed, which opened in June 2011, could enjoy an even better 2012 if it wins the £100,000 Art Fund Prize
© Courtesy Richard Bryant / Arcaidimages.com
Glasgow's £74 million Riverside Museum of Transport, sculpture sanctuary The Hepworth Wakefield and the well-received Turner Contemporary in Margate are among ten museums in the running for the Art Fund Prize, the flagship award for museums and galleries offering £100,000 to the winner.

The longlist, which will be reduced to a shortlist of four on May 14, includes many of the major museum developments 2011 will be remembered for.

Bristol's huge new riverfront M Shed, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, Bath’s Holburne Museum and the Watts Gallery in Guildford are also included, as well as the re-opened Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Scotland.

The Life and Works of Alan Turing, the major exhibition dedicated to the mathematical genius who made a crucial contribution to ending World War II, has been honoured at the Bletchley Park codecracking centre he once worked with.

Victoria Pomery, the Director at the widely acclaimed new Turner Contemporary in Margate, said organisers were "absolutely thrilled" to have been nominated.

"We've had an amazing first year with many thousands of visitors enjoying the gallery, programme and Margate," she added.

"The great news today continues to demonstrate what an impact Turner Contemporary is having. We are delighted."

Lord Smith of Finsbury, the Chair of the Judges, suggested the final decision – which will be announced at the British Museum on June 19 – will be a difficult one.

“Whittling the achievements of Britain’s museums over the past year down to a list of ten was an unbelievably challenging task,” he reflected.

“The outstanding quality of the projects that we finally settled on, however, perfectly encapsulates the vitality and dynamism of a part of our nation’s cultural life that continues to innovate, push boundaries and engage the public, even in these straitened times.”

The initial list of venues hoping to win the £10,000 Clore Award for Museum Learning has also been revealed, ranging from Discovery Days run by Jersey Heritage to the Stories of the World project at London’s Geffrye Museum.

Read our features on this year's longlist:
The Watts Gallery
M Shed
Riverside Museum
Turner Contemporary
National Museum of Scotland
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Bletchley Park
Hepworth Wakefield
The Holburne Museum

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