Saturday 21 September 2019

Museum Of The Year: Five hopefuls vie for £100,000 prize

The recently-refurbished Tate St Ives is one of the finalists.

Postal Museum (Marc Atkins/Art Fund 2018)
Postal Museum (Marc Atkins/Art Fund 2018)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Museums on motorsport, the post and women’s history will go head-to-head for a £100,000 prize.

Five venues across Britain have been shortlisted for the Art Fund Museum Of The Year.

Heavyweight Tate St Ives, which reopened in October following a £20 million refurbishment project, is one of the finalists, along with Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery, which hosted the Turner Prize last year.

Brooklands Museum (Marc Atkins/Art Fund)

Glasgow Women’s Library, also on the shortlist, is dedicated to women’s history.

All its exhibits, from suffragette memorabilia to knitting patterns, have been donated to the museum, which was established 26 years ago in a small shopfront with no funding.

Glasgow Women's Library (Marc Atkins/Art Fund)

The Postal Museum in London tells the story of mail, “the first social network”, and is home to subterranean train ride Mail Rail, postal uniforms, post boxes, postal vehicles and a huge collection of stamps.

It has had 75,000 visitors since opening as a public museum six months ago and holds the Royal Mail Archive.

Brooklands Museum in Weybridge is the site of the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit

The museum, which opened 27 years ago and also tells the story of aviation design, recently completed a redevelopment of its historic site.

Ferens Art Gallery (Marc Atkins/Art Fund)

Ferens Art Gallery, which underwent a £5.2 million refurbishment of the galleries and a complete rehang of the collection, is shortlisted as its home city of Hull celebrated UK City Of Culture in 2017.

Tate St Ives, marking artists who lived and worked in Cornwall, reopened last year following a £20 million refurbishment of its galleries, with a new extension.

Art Fund director and jury chair Stephen Deuchar said: “Above all, Art Fund Museum Of The Year is a prize for exceptional originality and innovation.


“Each of our five finalists has tapped into very current concerns. The progress of Glasgow Women’s Library exemplifies the quickening march towards equality, the Postal Museum addresses our first social network, Brooklands is inspiring the next generation of engineers and the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull and Tate St Ives are galvanising their communities around visual culture.

“Each one expands the very idea of what a museum can be. I would encourage everyone to see and experience them first-hand.”

The winning museum will be announced at a ceremony at the Victoria And Albert Museum in London on July 5.

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