Ditchling Museum and Tate Britain vie for Art Fund Prize
- 24 April 2014
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
A village museum in East Sussex will go up against Tate Britain and the new £35m Mary Rose Museum in a contest to be named the UK's museum of the year.
The Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, which celebrates the village's creative heritage, is among the six nominees for this year's Art Fund Prize.
The other nominees include the Hayward Gallery on London's South Bank.
Norwich's Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the open-air Yorkshire Sculpture Park complete the shortlist.
The winning venue will receive £100,000 at a ceremony on 9 July.
Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar said UK museums had a "strong year" in 2013 and picking six nominees was "no easy task".
"It is almost as if imaginative and innovative curatorship, combined with the highest standards of presentation, is no longer the exception but the rule," he said.
The nominees are:
- Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft. Ditchling became a hub of creativity after sculptor Eric Gill moved there in 1907, followed by other artists and craftspeople. Two local sisters opened a museum in 1985 and a £2.3m revamp put it on the national map last year.
- Hayward Gallery. The judges said the Hayward had an "exceptional year" thanks to exhibitions like Light Show and Alternative Guide to the Universe at its South Bank home, plus touring exhibitions by Turner Prize winners Jeremy Deller and Mark Leckey.
- Mary Rose Museum. This £35m museum was built to house the remains of the Mary Rose, a warship launched by Henry VIII in 1511. The judges said the museum "demonstrates excellence, innovation and imagination in the presentation of a truly unique artefact".
- Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Part of the University of East Anglia, this venue expanded last year with new facilities designed by its original architect Norman Foster. It doubled its annual visitor numbers in 2013.
- Tate Britain. 116 years after it opened, the oldest parts of Tate Britain have undergone a £45m refurbishment, while its collection has had a major rehang to arrange the paintings in chronological order. There has, however, been criticism of its director Penelope Curtis.
- Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This is the only one of the six venues to have been previously nominated for the prize. A 500-acre outdoor art gallery near Wakefield, it has been praised for large-scale exhibitions by Yinka Shonibare, Amar Kanwar and Hans Josephsohn.
The award was launched in 2003 as the Gulbenkian Prize and became the Art Fund Prize in 2008. Last year's winner was the William Morris Gallery in north-east London.