‘Peoples’ museums’ in line for £120k Art Fund prize

Museums that have moulded their new approach around visitors rather than collections are competing for the Art Fund Museum of the Year award.

They include the small multi-arts cultural hub embedded in Skipton Town Hall, the Craven Museum, which is shortlisted for the £120,000 prise along with the National Portrait Gallery, Manchester Museum, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Young V&A in London. The runners-up will each receive £15,000 and the winner will be announced in July.

“Each of our finalists truly has something for everyone and all have community at the very heart of their programming” said Jenny Waldman, direct of Art Fund and chair of the judges. “Their commitment to innovative partnerships while operating within an extremely challenging funding environment is incredible, and I'm so pleased to see the way they support and centre young people through their work. Across a wide range of size and scale, these organisations are all real leaders in their field. I urge everyone to go and visit these extremely special spaces." 

The Craven Museum in its listed building in North Yorkshire (main image) covers archaeology, textiles, fine art, literature and social history.

Dundee Contemporary Arts (above), supported by its local authority as is the Craven, is one of Scotland’s foremost contemporary arts organisations with two galleries, a cinema and print studio.

Manchester Museum (above), another local authority institution, has about 4.5m objects from natural sciences and human cultures, reopened in February 2023 following an extensive renovation and recast of its displays.

National Portrait Gallery (above) reopened last summer after a £41.3m makeover with a rethought narrative that takes in minorities and socially minimised sections of society.

Young V&A used to the V&A’s Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, bit has become more of a cultural playground for children since it reopened in July, with the collections used to stimulate young imaginations.



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