The Art Fund awards the Museum of the Year prize annually to one outstanding museum, which, in the opinion of the judges, has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement with a £100,000 prize.

They are (in alphabetical order):

Arnolfini, Bristol, South West
Bethlem Museum of the Mind, London
Jupiter Artland, West Lothian
Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London
York Art Gallery, Yorkshire

The judges for Museum of the Year 2016 are: Gus Casely-Hayford, curator and art historian; Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor; Ludmilla Jordanova, Professor of History and Visual Culture, Durham University; Cornelia Parker, artist; Stephen Deuchar (chair of the judging panel), Director, Art Fund.

“Each one of these five museums is outstanding – not just for the collections they display, but for the people who work there, and the visitors whose lives they can change,” said Deuchar.  “Whether reaching audiences of thousands or millions, the best museums turn objects into culture, put audiences at the heart of their work, and engage with issues of the moment.  This shortlist shows why and how UK museums lead the world.”

Chartered Institute of Fundraising October 2021

The prize of £100,000 is given at an awards dinner, before an invited audience of the UK’s museum and cultural leaders, which this year will take place at the Natural History Museum in London on Wednesday 6 July 2016.

The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year continues its partnership with the BBC in 2016 with Radio 2 leading the coverage, plus a special edition of BBC 2’s Artsnight on the shortlist and additional features on BBC ARTS online bbc.co.uk/arts

Last year’s shortlist was: Dunham Massey (National Trust), Altrincham, IWM London, The MAC, Belfast, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, HM Tower of London (Historic Royal Palaces) and The Whitworth, University of Manchester with the latter becoming Art Fund Museum of The Year 2015.

Today also sees the launch of a photography competition open to everyone to upload their own pictures of their favourite museum. Leading photographer Rankin will select one image per institution with the overall winner decided by public vote, which will be revealed ahead of the announcement of the winner of the Museum of the Year.

Back to top

Main Image

York Art Gallery, which completed an £8m redevelopment last July, is one of five museums up for the Art Fund’s Museums of the Year Award, with the winner being announced at the Natural History Museum on Wednesday 6 July 2016