Museum of the Year shortlist revealed

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The Art Fund prize has announced its finalists for 2019.

The V&A Dundee has been shortlisted

Five institutions engaged in “vital” work have been shortlisted for the £100,000 Museum of the Year prize.

A retired navy battle cruiser is among the finalists for the Art Fund award, which celebrates the achievement and innovation of UK museums.

Prize judges have praised the persistence and ingenuity of arts and history institutions dealing with the “complex environment of our times”.

HMS Caroline in Belfast – a First World War cruiser – has been named on the shortlist, alongside the V&A Dundee, the Nottingham Contemporary, the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and St Fagans National Museum of History in Wales.

HMS Caroline in Belfast has been named as a finalist (Marc Atkins)

Chairman of the judging panel Stephen Deuchar said: “Despite, or perhaps because of, the complex environment of our times, the UK’s museums continue to challenge and inspire.

“The five shortlisted museums have each offered outstanding and different approaches to the vital task of engaging with the widest public in new and adventurous ways.

“We congratulate all those who are on the shortlist and encourage everyone to go and visit them.”


Reconstruction of a Neanderthal child at St Fagans National Museum of History (Marc Atkins)

Museums considered for the prize have dealt with new builds and renovation, or have displayed innovation and modernisation in their approach.

HMS Caroline has been highlighted for its insight into naval history and maritime warfare.

It was the focus of a £20 million restoration project.


St Fagans has been shortlisted for its popular exploration of Welsh culture and history, and has undergone a £30 million restoration.

The newly built V&A Dundee has aided regeneration in the area, and welcomed 500,000 visitors since its 2018 launch in a new building designed by Kengo Kuma.

Many visitors have enjoyed the Nottingham Contemporary, which has hosted exhibitions highlighting the work of female artists.

Pitt Rivers has been praised for inviting critique and consideration of its own collections from different communities.

The winner will be revealed at the Science Museum in London in July and will receive £100,000, with £10,000 each going to the other shortlisted museums.

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