© Simon Rawles
Acclaimed artist Bob and Roberta Smith, Daily Telegraph Arts Editor Sarah Crompton, popular historian Bettany Hughes and the Labour MP Tristram Hunt will decide the winner of the Art Fund Prize 2013.Led by Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar, the flagship award for museums and galleries across the country will again carry a reward of £100,000 next year. Ten finalists will be announced in early April, followed by the traditional tour by the judges to inspect each venue.
“I am really eager to visit museums that are old friends and discover spaces and collections I don't know,” said Patrick Brill, the artist who, under his pseudonym of Bob and Roberta, has become known for his personable demeanour and creations.
“The Art Fund does amazing work to highlight the fundamental importance of art in what is becoming a very difficult time for culture. Through art we can fall in love across generations with people and ideas and be spurred on to inspire others.”
The judges have been minded to seek a winner demonstrating “the most innovative and remarkable approach” to story-telling, inspiration and creating a sense of “reflection, illumination and fun.”
“To spend some consolidated time discovering new museums and revisiting old favourites is pretty much my idea of heaven,” admitted Hughes.
“One of the many things that makes me proud to be British is our unabashed love of history, of heritage and the lives of others. Collections and institutions incarnate that passion all over the UK.”
Despite having their nerves frayed by inquisitive visits from the panel, the list of previous shortlistees and winners has earned enhanced coverage and admiration for a diverse map of the country’s cultural finest: the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, in Exeter, won last year, succeeding the British and Ulster museums in previous years.
One of the finalists will win the accompanying Clore Award for Learning, returning again with a £10,000 prize for educational effort.
Any museum or gallery signed up to the national Accreditation Scheme in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man can apply.
- The application phase runs from the start of January until February 6 2013. Visit artfund.org/prize for more.