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 Trust is currently considering establishing a new annual prize for museum & galleries to recognise ‘commercial innovation’. As a curtain raiser to this initiative, the Trust – with funding from Arts Council England and in association with the Association for Cultural Enterprises and Google Arts & Culture – commissioned five videos illustrating successful commercial innovation. These videos, which feature the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford), SS Great Britain (Bristol), Black Country Living Museum (Dudley), Sir John Soane’s Museum (London) and the Horniman Museum & Gardens (Dulwich) can be viewed on the Museum Prize Trust Channel on YouTube.
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 2018 Art Fund Museum of Year Prize is Tate St Ives. The prize of £100,000 was presented at the V&A in London at the beginning of July.
Stephen Deuchar, chair of the judges, said: "Tate St Ives tells the story of the artists who have lived and worked in Cornwall in an international context. The new extension to the gallery is deeply intelligent and breathtakingly beautiful, providing the perfect stage for a curatorial programme that is at once adventurous, inclusive and provocative. The judges admired an architect and gallery team who devoted some 12 years to this transformational change, consulting with the local community all the way."
The runners up were Brooklands Museum , Ferens Art Gallery, Glasgow Women’s Library and The Postal Museum. Each of the other finalist museums received a £10,000 prize in recognition of their achievements.
The judges for the Museum of the Year 2018 were Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group; Rebecca Jones, BBC arts correspondent; Melanie Manchot, artist; Monisha Shah, independent media consultant and Art Fund trustee; and Stephen Deuchar (chair), Art Fund director.
Anne Barlow, director of Tate St Ives, was presented with the £100,000 prize by artist Isaac Julien and the ‘world’s best teacher’ Andria Zafirakou at an award ceremony at the V&A, London.
More information at www.artfund.org