The Museum Prize Trust is a charitable company set up in 2001 to create one major annual Prize for museums and galleries in the UK. National Heritage, the Museums Association, The Art Fund and the Campaign for Museums agreed to put aside award schemes they formerly ran (including National Heritage’s Museum of the Year) and lend their support to a single major Prize.
In addition to the Prize for Museums and Galleries first awarded in 2003, the Trust launched the Clore Award for Museum Learning in 2011, and awarded the Unsung Museum Heroes Award in 2012 – the tenth anniversary year of the Prize.
The Museum Prize is now run by the Art Fund and is known as The Art Fund Prize for the Museum of the Year.
The winner of the 2017 Art Fund Museum of Year Prize is The Hepworth Wakefield. The prize of £100,000 was presented at the British Museum at the beginning of July. For the first time, each of the four runners up receive £10,000.
Stephen Deuchar, Chief Executive of the Art Fund and chair of the judging panel said: “The Hepworth serves its local community and contributes to regional tourism too. 2016 launched The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, and there are plans for an ambitious garden project. It's the museum everyone would dream to have on their doorstep.”
The runners up were Tate Modern, Sir John Soane Museum, Lapworth Museum of Geology and The National Heritage Centre of Horseracing and Sporting Art.
The judges for the Museum of the Year 2017 were: Professor Richard Deacon CBE, artist; Dr Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum; Munira Mirza, arts and philanthropy advisor; Jo Whiley, radio DJ and television presenter; Stephen Deuchar CBE (chair of the judging panel), director of Art Fund.
Jo Whiley made the presentation to the Hepworth team at the Prizegiving ceremony at the British Museum.
More information at www.artfund.org