Friday, 10 February 2012

Turner Contemporary longlisted for the Art Fund Prize 2012

Turner Contemporary 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.

Turner Contemporary opened on 16 April 2011 designed by acclaimed architect David Chipperfield, the gallery has attracted nearly 400,000 visitors.

Victoria Pomery Director Turner Contemporary, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Turner Contemporary has been long listed for the 2012 Art Fund Prize.  We’ve had an amazing first year with many thousands of visitors enjoying the gallery, programme and Margate. Our current highly acclaimed Turner exhibition opened 2012 with a bang and the great news today continues to demonstrate what an impact Turner Contemporary is having. We are delighted.”
‘Have Your Say’
Visitors and local champions have the opportunity to say why your gallery should win the Art Fund Prize 2012. Members of the public are invited to log on to 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.

Sally Abbott is Regional Director, Arts Council England, South East, which invested more than £4 million of Lottery funding into creating Turner Contemporary and is supporting the gallery with more than £1.7 million between 2012 and 2015 as part of its National Funding Portfolio.
Sally says: ‘Turner Contemporary is one of the most ambitious contemporary art spaces outside London to be opened in recent years and it’s great to see that being recognised by the Art Fund. Great art enriches lives, and Turner Contemporary is helping more people experience and be inspired by the arts both regionally and nationally. We wish the Turner Contemporary team the best of luck in taking home this prestigious prize.’

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 byLord Smith of Finsbury, former Labour MP and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The other judges areProfessor 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.

Ten Years of the Museum Prize
2012 is the tenth year of the Art Fund Prize for Museums (formerly the Gulbenkian Prize).
The past winners are:
2003 National Centre for Citizenship and the Law, Galleries of Justice, Nottingham
2004 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
2005 Big Pit: the National Mining Museum of Wales
2006 Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol
2007 Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, East Sussex
2008 The Lightbox gallery and museum, Woking
2009 Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent
2010 The Ulster Museum, Belfast
2011 The British Museum, for A History of the World

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