The five finalists for Art Fund’s Museum of the Year 2023 award have been announced today.

The awards’ organiser, Art Fund, annually shortlists five museums for the prize. The winner will receive £120,000, specially increased for 2023 and beyond to mark 120 years of Art Fund supporting museums.

A further £15,000 will be given to each of the four other finalists – bringing the total prize money to £180,000.

The five shortlisted museums are: The Burrell Collection in Glasgow, Leighton House and the Natural History Museum in London, The MAC in Belfast, and Scapa Flow Museum in Orkney.

The 2023 prize celebrates 10 years of Art Fund Museum of the Year. The winning museum will be announced at a ceremony at the British Museum in London on 12 July.

The 2023 judging panel, chaired by Art Fund director Jenny Waldman, includes: Larry Achiampong, artist; Mary Beard, historian and broadcaster; Abadesi Osunsade, Art Fund Trustee, author and owner of Hustle Crew, and Laura Pye, Director, National Museums Liverpool.

The judges will visit each of the finalists to inform their decision-making, while each museum is expected to celebrate being a finalist with events and activities over the summer.

Jenny Waldman, Director, Art Fund described the finalists museums as “on the top of their game, offering inspirational collections and programmes for their communities, for visitors from across the UK and around the world.”

“Each is a blueprint for future innovation in museums. Visit them if you possibly can.”

Winners of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2013 - 2022:

2013 – William Morris Gallery, London
2014 – Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
2015 – Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
2016 – Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London
2017 – The Hepworth, Wakefield
2018 – Tate St Ives
2019 – St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff
2020 – Aberdeen Art Gallery; Gairloch Museum; Science Museum; South London Gallery; and Towner Eastbourne.
2021 – Firstsite, Colchester
2022 – Horniman Museum and Gardens, London

This year, Art Fund has collaborated with Google Arts & Culture to present the last decade of the prize.

The new online experience, which launched today, gives an overview of the shortlisted and winning museums which include Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield, St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff and last year’s winner, the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London.

Horniman Museum and Gardens wins Art Fund’s Museum Of The Year 2022

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Image (Clockwise from top left): Natural History Museum, Scapa Flow Museum, The MAC, The Burrell Collection, Leighton House. (c) Janie Airey Art Fund 2023