The longlist for The Art Fund’s £100,000 ‘Museum of the Year’ prize is announced

This year I am one of the judges for the Art Fund Museum of the Year prize.

On Monday the longlist was announced, and here it is for you to see.  It’s a really strong year. Just look at all those millions of pounds: we’re seeing the completion of projects that started before the recession.  I’m not allowed to tell you exactly what we debated, but at one point I was voting in a minority of one against the rest of the committee!

Which of them do you want to see on the shortlist?  Do let me know…

1. Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, Bucks: The Life and Works of Alan Turing. Bletchley Park is the historic site of secret British code breaking activities during WWII and the birthplace of the modern computer.

2. The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, West Yorkshire: The Hepworth Wakefield. Designed by acclaimed architect David Chipperfield, Hepworth Wakefield opened in May 2011 following a £35 million development bringing together Wakefield’s art collection.

3. The Holburne Museum, Bath, Somerset: The Holburne Museum Development Project. The Holburne Museum reopened in May 2011 following a £11.4 million refurbishment. The new contemporary extension attracted over 100,000 people within the first six months of reopening.

4. M Shed, Bristol: A New Museum for Bristol. Bristol’s new museum is devoted to telling the story of the city and its people.  The £27 million development opened in June 2011 and has already attracted almost 450,000 visitors.

5. The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh: Portrait of the Nation. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery reopened following a £17.6 million transformation in December 2011, the first refurbishment in the museum’s 120 year history.

6. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland Development. The £47.4 million redevelopment of the National Museum of Scotland aimed to reinvent the grand Victorian vision of an encyclopaedic museum for the contemporary era.

7. Riverside Museum, Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel, Glasgow: Riverside Museum Project. Incorporating Glasgow’s well-loved Museum of Transport with new ways of displaying and interpreting the collections, the Riverside Museum opened in June 2011.

8. Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, Devon: RAMM Development Project. With collections ranging from fine art to archaeology, botany to geology, the museum attracted over 50,000 visitors within its first month of reopening in December 2011.

9. Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent: Turner Contemporary. Turner Contemporary is the new art gallery for Margate, Kent, which opening in April 2011 following a £17 million development.

10. Watts Gallery, Guildford, Surrey: The Watts Gallery Hope Project. Watts Gallery, devoted to the work of Victorian painter George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) has been long listed for the prize following the success of its £10 million refurbishment.

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