Nottingham Contemporary and Pitt Rivers Museum make shortlist for Art Fund's Museum of the Year

Explore these outstanding museums in 3D Virtual Reality.

Since opening in 2009, Nottingham Contemporary has reached over 2 million people through its contemporary art exhibitions, events and activities, leading the way with its innovative approach to exhibition staging and public engagement.

One of the most important collections of anthropology and archaeology, the Pitt Rivers Museum is remarkable for its singular approach to the presentation of objects and its willingness to encourage new interpretations.

Artfund Museum of the year promo image

The biggest museum prize in the world, Art Fund Museum of the Year seeks out and celebrates innovation and exceptional achievement in museums and galleries across the UK. They award £100,000 to one outstanding winner and £10,000 to each other finalist to support future activity. It’s a moment to spotlight the originality and creativity of in the arts and culture sector.

During the process each year’s finalists – selected from applications from museums of all kinds and sizes – typically see a significant boost in attendance and profile, strengthened support from stakeholders and wider public recognition of their contribution to society.

With past winners including the Hepworth Wakefield, the V&A and William Morris Gallery, the prize has done much to draw national and international attention to the remarkable accomplishments of UK museums.

Art Fund’s involvement goes back to 2008, when it took over administration of the prize from Museum Prize Trust. From 2003-2007, it was called the ‘Prize for Museums and Galleries’ and was sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The prize champions what museums do, encourages people to visit and gets to the heart of what makes a truly outstanding museum. The judges present the prize to the institution that has met one or more of the following criteria: undertaken projects that provide a lasting legacy or have a transformative effect; brought collections to life for audiences in exceptional ways; delivered an innovative programme of audience development, learning or outreach; and clearly won the support and enthusiasm of its visitors and users.

The Art Fund museum of the year 2019 will be announced on 3 July 2019.

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Joe Clark