Sunday, April 26, 2015

Shortlist for the Art Fund Museum of the Year Award 2015

Six museums have been shortlisted for the Museum of the Year and three of them are focused on art or are are art related.

This is the Michelin Star rating for Museums so being shortlisted is an honour - but winning it is something else!
The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year annually surveys museums and galleries across the UK, awarding one outstanding winner a prize of £100,000.
The judges are:

  • Stephen Deuchar - Director of the Art Fund
  • Michael Landy, artist
  • Alice Rawsthorn, design critic
  • Fiammetta Rocco,The Economist books and arts editor  and 
  • Axel RĂ¼ger, director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at Tate Modern on Wednesday 1 July 2015, following the Museum of the Year Debate.

The "Art" Museums

HM Tower of London (Historic Royal Palaces) (Shortlist page)

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red on the morning of 10th November 2014

Last year the Tower displayed the stunning installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red: 888,246 ceramic red poppies representing fallen British and Colonial serviceman.
I visited the display the day before Armistice Day - and the sight was stunning and really brought home just how British and colonial fatalities there were. See my two blog posts:
This video explains HM Tower of London - which will be interesting to any visitors to London.

See the comments from the public and view the numbers that visited - 5 million in total - in this next video.

For me this is the best video I've seen to date about this installation - it's a story of connectedness, community and commemoration.

Given the public response to this installation and commemoration it'll be a very strong candidate which beats it.

The Whitworth, Manchester (Shortlist page)

This is an art museum which I used to pass every single day on my way to and from school. I've not yet been to it since its transformation but I know that it's been very well received.
In 2014 the gallery underwent a radical £15m transformation, doubling in size – and while it was closed, ran a series of experimental pop-up events.

The MAC, Belfast (Shortlist page)

I visited the Mac in March - albeit only to have lunch. It looked a very impressive building which is situated right next to the Art School. It's part of an initiative to regenerate Belfast.

Belfast’s new arts venue presented an outstanding programme in 2014 and established itself as a world-class contemporary art gallery.

The other short-listed museums

The short list pages and their videos are embedded in the names of the remaining museums on the shortlist.

Dunham Massey (National Trust), Altrincham

A place I know well and one which I may try and visit next week when I go to see my mother.
To mark the First World War centenary, this beautiful Georgian mansion was transformed back into Stamford Military Hospital, with live recreations of stories from its archives.

IWM London 

Following an incredible £40m renovation, London's flagship war museum reopened in July 2014, 100 years after the First World War began.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

The museum reopened in 2014 after a spectacular renovation of its neo-Gothic building, and with a lively new public engagement programme. 
I love its Twitter handle

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