Kelvingrove Wins 24 Hour Museum Gulbenkian Prize Poll

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 24 May 2007
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photo of a long baroque red stone palatial building with a park in front of it

Kelvingrove's familar features have long been a source of pride for Glaswegians. © Glasgow City Council (Museums)

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has won the 24 Hour Museum People’s Vote for who you think should receive the Gulbenkian Prize for Museums and Galleries.

The official prize is awarded by a jury to a museum or gallery in the UK they think has shown the most imagination, innovation and excellence over the last year and will be announced at a ceremony in London later today, Thursday May 24.

Ahead of the official announcement, our readers voted in droves for the much-loved Glasgow venue. Out of a total of 4,378 votes cast via email to the 24 Hour Museum, Kelvingrove was clear winner with 1,964, reflecting the popularity of the recent redevelopment of the site.

Kelvingrove was nominated for the £100,000 Gulbenkian Prize for its innovative New Century project, a three-year £35m redevelopment which, when the venue reopened in July 2006, saw displays expanded by 35 per cent and the number of objects on show by 50 per cent.

photo of a painting of a man on a cross suspended over a mountainous landscape

Kelvingrove's ever-popular Christ Of St John Of The Cross by Salvador Dali. © Glasgow City Council (Museums)

Its collection is regarded as one of the most important civic collections in Europe, with old favourites like Salvador Dali’s painting Christ of St John of the Cross and Spitfire LA198 from the 602 City of Glasgow Squadron complemented by new discovery centres and study areas, a multimedia gallery, education suite, temporary gallery and audio-visual ‘object cinema’.

As well as voting through our website, some museums organised voting screens for our poll in their venues, and Kelvingrove picked up a good number of votes this way, enabling visitors without web access to let their voice be heard.

Our top four venues in the People’s Vote was pretty much the same as the Gulbenkian’s shortlist – along with Kelvingrove, Weston Park Museum in Sheffield and Kew Palace also polled highly. You also voted strongly for the Warner Textile Archive at Braintree, while in the official Gulbenkian Prize it was Pallant House in Chichester that made the shortlist.

photo of a world war two spitfire fighter plane suspended from the roof of a museum gallery

The famous Spitfire LA198, now hanging in the refurbished West Court. © Glasgow City Council (Museums)

As well as voting, many people wrote about the museum they wanted to see win the prize and we’ve put together a few of these comments which prove how passionately people feel about their local museums and galleries.

Many supporters of Kelvingrove wrote in, telling us in their own words how the museum was inspiring a whole new generation of visitors.

“This gallery is fantastic and so child friendly that we will be back again and again,” wrote Tricia and Bobby. “It is full to bursting with excitement, education and fun. Top marks Glasgow. We are proud of you.”