The best museums are more than just expensive buildings that house expensive pieces of artwork. They have original exhibitions, engaging educational programs, and even tell a lot about a city's character. The Art Fund is one step closer to finding Britain's 2014 Museum of the Year, which acknowledges the very best achievements of museums across the UK.
Ranging from iconic national institutions to up-and-coming local galleries, six finalists continue to compete for the £100,000 prize:
- Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
- Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth
- Hayward Gallery, London
- Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, East Sussex
- Tate Britain, London
- Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
The winner will be announced on July 9 at an award ceremony at the National Gallery in London.
Check out the details about the finalists below.
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
"Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich was shortlisted following its two-year redevelopment. Housed in a listed masterpiece of modern architecture, its new facilities – which include the largest contiguous exhibition space in the east of England – launched in September 2013 with Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia, the centre's most ambitious exhibition to date."
Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth
"Portsmouth's Mary Rose Museum was selected to be a finalist after opening in May 2013. The museum displays the starboard section of Henry VIII's flagship – which sank in 1545 – along with the equipment it was carrying and the possessions of its crew members."
Hayward Gallery, London
"Hayward Gallery was shortlisted following the success of its ambitious 2013 exhibition programme. Shows at the London gallery, such as Light Show and Ana Mendieta: Traces, attracted many new visitors to the gallery, while the Hayward's eclectic touring exhibitions, including Curiosity: Art and the Pleasure of Knowing and The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, brought unexpected art to record-breaking audiences across the UK."
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, East Sussex
"Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft has been shortlisted following a major redevelopment project, which saw the East Sussex site and its collections transformed, presenting objects within the environment in which they were created by artists who lived and worked in Ditchling in the 20th century."
Tate Britain, London
"Tate Britain earned its place among the finalists with a series of significant changes in 2013. Nine of its galleries were rebuilt to 21st-century standards, opening in May 2013 with a new chronological display of works from the Tate collection. In November, the Millbank entrance reopened to the public, combining new architectural features with the most beautiful elements of the original building."
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
"Yorkshire Sculpture Park – the second finalist from the West Yorkshire city of Wakefield in as many years – was shortlisted for the strength of its exhibitions and displays in 2013, as well as the success of its innovative learning programme, which has engaged new audiences and provided a unique art experience for hard-to-reach groups."
Photos and videos via artfund.org
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