Horniman Museum and Gardens has been announced the winner of Art Fund’s Museum Of The Year award, taking home a £100,000 prize.
Announced at a ceremony at the Design Museum, Art Fund said the winner had been chosen because it brought together art and nature in one holistic museum, had woven their values into everything they do, breathed life into their collections with new relevance for diverse communities, and set the agenda for how a traditional museum can reinvent itself through powerful ideas.
The Horniman launched a number of new initiatives in 2021, from helping to create a micro-forest to combat local air pollution, to championing local music. Art Fund said “day to day, the Horniman provides a relaxing and inspiring space for the local community to engage with art, culture and nature.”
This year’s award was judged by Director-General of the Imperial War Museums Dame Diane Lees, artist Harold Offeh, presenter Huw Stephens, presenter, lecturer and researcher Dr Janina Ramirez and Art Fund director Jenny Waldman, chair of the judges.
Waldman said the award “shines a light on museums around the UK that are doing so much for so many people. They are fun and fascinating places to visit.”
The winner was selected from a shortlist of five finalists. Derby Museums, Museum of Making, People’s History Museum, The Story Museum, and Tŷ Pawb, each received a £15,000 prize in recognition of their work.
“It’s absolutely overwhelming and fantastic news” said Chief Executive and Director of Content for the Horniman Nick Merriman while accepting the award.
“It’s fantastic for all our wonderful volunteers, our board of trustees and of course our visitors. It’s been a tough couple of years but we’ve done some wonderful work and we’re delighted, what an endorsement.”