The Museum of the Year Prize has been awarded to the Whitworth Art Gallery! The award was founded to celebrate the best museums and galleries across the UK, rewarding excellence, innovation and imagination. The Whitworth will receive £100,000.
The 6 finalists this year were as follows:
1. Dunham Massey
During the First World War this Georgian House was transformed into the Stamford Military Hospital by the Grey family. The house has been returned to its former status to mark the centenary of the original hospital being founded.
2. Recently reopened Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum London re-opened in July 2014 to mark the centenary of the First World War and now includes the First World War Galleries. The galleries include a Harrier Jet and a Spitfire.
3. MAC – Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast
Belfast’s new art venue which opened in 2012 and includes three art galleries, two theatres, a family room, an artist-in-residence studio, workshop spaces and a café/bar.
4. Oxford University Museum of Natural History
To celebrate their nomination, the museum has decided to send it iconic Dodo on a week long trail from Land’s End to John O’ Groats!
5 The Tower of London
Who can forget the stunning installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower in 2014. 888,246 ceramic red poppies represented fallen British and colonial servicemen.
6 The Whitworth
The gallery underwent a radical £15 million transformation in 2014 and doubled in size. The gallery first opened in 1889 for ‘the perpetual gratification of the people of Manchester’. That idea has been retained throughout the history of the Museum. During the renovation the Museum experimented with pop-up exhibitions which helped to achieve record-breaking visitor numbers once the galleries re-opened.
Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: ‘The transformation of the Whitworth – architecturally, curatorially, and as a destination – has been one of the great museum achievements of recent years.”