The Museum Prize Trust is a charitable company set up in 2001 to create one major annual Prize for museums and galleries in the UK. National Heritage, the Museums Association, The Art Fund and the Campaign for Museums agreed to put aside award schemes they formerly ran (including National Heritage’s Museum of the Year) and lend their support to a single major Prize.
In addition to the Prize for Museums and Galleries first awarded in 2003, the Trust launched the Clore Award for Museum Learning in 2011, and awarded the Unsung Museum Heroes Award in 2012 – the tenth anniversary year of the Prize.
The Museum Prize is now run by the Art Fund and is known as The Art Fund Prize for the Museum of the Year.
The winner of the 2016 Museum of the Year Prize was announced in early July. The £100,000 prize went to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A).
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, and chairman of the judging panel said:
"The V&A experience is an unforgettable one. Its recent exhibitions, from Alexander McQueen to The Fabric of India, and the opening of its new Europe 1600–1815 galleries, were all exceptional accomplishments – at once entertaining and challenging, rooted in contemporary scholarship, and designed to reach and affect the lives of a large and diverse national audience. It was already one of the best-loved museums in the country: this year it has indisputably become one of the best museums in the world."
The judging panel members for the 2016 Prize are Gus Casely-Hayford, curator and cultural historian; Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor; Ludmilla Jordanova, Professor of History and Visual Culture, Durham University and artist Cornelia Parker. The panel is chaired by Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund.