Riverside Museum: Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel has been longlisted for the Art Fund Prize 2012, the UK’s annual ‘museum of the year’ award, and the biggest prize for arts and cultural organisations in the country. Ten museums in total across the country are in with the chance to win £100,000 and the prestigious award, which will be announced on 19 June 2012.
Riverside Museum opened in June 2011, and has already attracted more than a million visitors. The £74 million development is the first major public commission in the UK of acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Riverside Museum cements Glasgow’s reputation as Scotland’s cultural powerhouse. The iconic building on the banks of the Clyde celebrates the transport, industrial and engineering heritage that helped to build Glasgow and the world. We’re rightly proud that the museum been shortlisted for such a prestigious prize and I hope that everyone will get behind one of the jewels in Glasgow’s cultural crown.”
Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chair of the Judges, said: “Whittling the achievements of Britain’s museums over the past year down to a list of ten was an unbelievably challenging task. The outstanding quality of the projects that we finally settled on, however, perfectly encapsulates the vitality and dynamism of a part of our nation’s cultural life that continues to innovate, push boundaries and engage the public, even in these straitened times.”
The ten longlisted museums are:
• Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, Bucks.: The Life and Works of Alan Turing
• M Shed, Bristol: A New Museum for Bristol
• National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland Development
• Riverside Museum, Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel, Glasgow: Riverside Museum Project
• Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, Devon: RAMM Development Project
• The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, West Yorkshire: The Hepworth Wakefield
• The Holburne Museum, Bath, Somerset: The Holburne Museum Development Project
• The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh: Portrait of the Nation
• Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent: Turner Contemporary
• Watts Gallery, Guildford, Surrey: The Watts Gallery Hope Project
The Art Fund Prize 2012 rewards excellence and innovation in museums and galleries in the UK for a project completed or undertaken in 2011. Following a shortlist of four museums to be announced on 14 May, the £100,000 cash prize will be awarded to the ‘Museum of the Year’ at a ceremony at the British Museum on 19 June. The annual prize has been awarded since 2003.
Penelope, Viscountess Cobham, Chairman of The Museum Prize Trust said: “We are delighted to see such a strong and varied longlist in this tenth year of awarding the Museum Prize. It is testament to the extraordinary work that is happening around the country in museums and galleries that the 2012 Art Fund Prize longlist showcases excellence, innovation and audience engagement at all levels.”
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: “This year’s Art Fund Prize longlist truly reveals the creativity and ambition of museums and galleries beyond London. The vitality of our cultural treasures nationwide is a hugely important resource, and the Art Fund is extremely proud to celebrate these museums’ achievements through its sponsorship of the ‘museum of the year’ prize.”
The longlist was chosen by a panel of experts chaired by Lord Smith of Finsbury, former Labour MP and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The other judges are Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE, theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster; Charlotte Higgins, Guardian journalist and author; Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, author and broadcaster; Sir Mark Jones, Master at St Cross College, Oxford and former V&A director; Rick Mather, architect; and Lisa Milroy, artist and Head of Graduate Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.
The shortlist of four museums will be announced on 14 May 2012 and the winner on 19 June 2012.
‘Have Your Say’ online forum
Also launching is the opportunity for local champions of each of the longlisted museums to say why their chosen museum should win the Art Fund Prize 2012. Members of the public are invited to log on to www.artfundprize.org.uk
and leave their comments, a selection of which will be presented to the judges to consider when they come to decide the shortlist. Anyone who posts a comment will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad 2. The forum and prize draw close at 11.59pm on Sunday 22 April 2012.