The enamelled silver prize bowl designed by award-winning metalwork artist, Vladimir Böhm - the winning institution will hold on to it for a year. Courtesy The Gulbenkian Prize.
The long list of contenders for Britain’s largest arts prize, the Gulbenkian Prize for Museums and Galleries, has been announced. The £100,000 prize will go to the museum or gallery judged to have completed the most worthy innovation in the last year.
The list of ten runs from a new volunteer-run gallery in a medieval abbey to a vast £33m national museum charting the industrial heritage of Wales. Six of the projects received Heritage Lottery Funding – central to the arts and heritage in Britain today.
“This year’s long list shows how museums and galleries, large and small, throughout the country are continuing to innovate and explore boundaries,” said Professor Lord Winston, chair of the 2006 judges. “We, the judges, face a thrilling if difficult task ahead of us as we visit them over the coming months.”
The long list of museums and galleries, in alphabetical order, are:
Cambridge and County Folk Museum, for its redevelopment that merged old and new, holding on to tradition while making the museum accessible to 21st century visitors.
They've got all the mod cons in this kitchen at the Cambridge and County Museum. Courtesy Colman Getty
The Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, London – a branch of the Imperial War Museum, the Churchill Museum opened in 2005 to document the life and times of Britain’s great wartime leader.
Footage from an impromptu desert conference from the North Africa campaign of World War Two at the Churchill Museum. © 24 Hour Museum
Dorchester Abbey Museum, The Cloister Gallery, Oxfordshire, where the story of the 1,400-year-old abbey is told through a collection of worked medieval stones.
A 1,400 year-old story at Dorchester Abbey Museum. Courtesy Colman Getty.
The Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, London, whose permanent galleries housing one of the most important medical collections in the world have been brilliantly renewed.
Anatony specimens at the Hunterian Museum, London. Courtesy the Hunterian.
The Concorde Experience, Museum of Flight, near Edinburgh, where an exciting exhibition in the redeveloped museum allows visitors to get close to the world’s most iconic aircraft.
Get close to Concorde - the Concorde Experience, Museum of Flight. Courtesy Colman Getty.
The National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, which celebrates Welsh industry and innovation through human stories in a fantastic refurbished warehouse building in the city’s regenerated Maritime Quarter.
A refurbished wareheouse - National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. Photo James Brittain, courtesy Colman Getty.
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire – opened in June 2005, visitors can discover how the well-loved author worked and be inspired by creative writing activities at the centre, which holds an archive of nearly everything Dahl wrote.
The definitive Dahl archive - the Roald Dahl Museum. Courtesy Coleman Getty.
The Collection: Art & Archaeology in Lincolnshire, Lincoln, a new state-of-the-art regional museum displaying internationally significant treasures from the area, like a 3-by-3-metre Roman mosaic.
Keeper of collections Antony Lee of The Collection, Lincolnshire. Courstey Coleman Getty.
The ss Great Britain floats in a glass framed dry-dock. © Jon Pratty/24 Hour Museum
And finally, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Yorkshire, where the huge new Underground Gallery has been created in harmony with the landscape.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park boasts a state-of-the-art underground gallery. © Yorkshire Sculpture Park
This list will be cut down to four finalists in April, 2006, before the winner is announced on May 25. The judges will visit each museum before then, to see for themselves what great things have been achieved.
The 2006 judging panel come from diverse backgrounds, in art, science and academia as well as from the museum world.
Assisting chair Robert Winston will be Michael Day (Chief Executive, Historic Royal Palaces), Ekow Eshun (writer, journalist and artistic director of the ICA), Diane Lees (director of the V&A Museum of Childhood), Dr Elizabeth Mackenzie (Vice-Chair, British Association of Friends of Museums), Joanna Moorhead (journalist and author) and Dan Snow (historian and broadcaster).
Last year’s winner was Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales, while landscape sculpture Landform at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art won in 2004. Nottingham’s National Centre for Citizenship and the Law at the Galleries of Justice won the inaugural prize in 2003.