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Kelvingrove Nominated for Museum of the Year

03/04/2013
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has been announced as one of the ten finalists for the prestigious Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2013. Celebrating the very best UK museums and galleries, it is the largest arts prize in the UK. The prize aims to reward and highlight innovation and creativity in bringing objects and collections to life.
Kelvingrove is one of Glasgow’s world-class civic museums and is home to internationally renowned collections and exhibitions. Since reopening after a £35 million refurbishment in 2006, the museum has welcomed more than 10 million visitors, exploring 22 themed galleries, displaying 8,000 objects of national and international significance. In 2012, Kelvingrove hosted a range of diverse temporary exhibitions and events, aimed at engaging both current and new museum audiences. Exhibitions included a major retrospective on what has been described as the UK’s finest civic collection of Italian art and an exhibition on one of the world’s biggest rock acts, AC/DC. Other events ranged from a Victorian-themed weekend to the global launch of Glasgow’s 2018 Youth Olympic Games Bid. Drawing on Kelvingrove’s roots as a performance space, audiences enjoyed performances from the Tallis Scholars and the Kronos Quartet, as part of the London 2012 Cultural Programme.  The museum also dedicated a new Glasgow Boys Gallery, following on from a record-breaking exhibition (beating the previous Van Gogh record) and a successful tour to the Royal Academy in London.
As well as the £100,000 for Museum of the Year, Kelvingrove is also in the running for the Clore Award for Learning, an additional award of £10,000 which recognises achievements in learning programmes in UK museums. Both winners will be drawn from the ten finalists.
On reaching the top ten, Councillor Archie Graham, the Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Kelvingrove continues to be one of Scotland’s most visited attractions, with more than 10 million visitors since we reopened our doors in 2006. That is no accident. We work incredibly hard providing temporary exhibitions, spectacular events and classes that really do offer something for everyone.
“From Italian art, to Glasgow’s connections with the rock giants, AC/DC and even Victorian themed weekends with contortionists and magicians, we understand that our programme should be as diverse as the citizens who own this great museum. That sentiment is reflected in our current exhibition which examines Scotland’s role in bringing football to the world.
“We’re delighted to be the only Scottish museum named as a finalist for this year’s Museum of the Year Award. Glasgow’s Riverside Museum was shortlisted last year and this is the second time that Kelvingrove has been nominated – we very much hope the third time will be a charm.”
The finalists were chosen by an independent panel of judges chaired by Art Fund Director, Stephen Deuchar and including the Daily Telegraph’s Arts Editor Sarah Crompton, writer and broadcaster Bettany Hughes, historian Tristram Hunt MP and the artist Bob and Roberta Smith.
Stephen Deuchar said: “The quality and diversity of the UK’s museums and galleries is truly exceptional and the job of this prize is to draw attention to that. As the national charity for art, we hope that by shining a light on the ten finalists we'll encourage people to visit and celebrate these bright beacons of culture across the UK.”
The winner will be announced live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row from the award ceremony at the V&A museum in London on 4 June 2013.
The ten finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead
The Beaney, Canterbury
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield
Horniman Museum & Gardens, London
Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow
Museum of Archeology & Anthropology, Cambridge
Narberth Museum, Wales
Preston Park Museum, Stockton-on-Tees
William Morris Gallery, London​
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