Museum of the Year 2018: Introducing the shortlist
1 May 2018
The finalists for the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 have been announced on a special edition of Front Row. One of these five museums, which range from a centre for women's history to one celebrating a top motor sport racetrack, will win the prestigious award and a £100,000 prize.
The shortlist for the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year award for 2018 has been revealed.
The five finalists, announced during a special edition of Front Row, are:
- Brooklands Museum, Weybridge
- Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
- Glasgow Women's Library
- Tate St Ives
- The Postal Museum, London
The winning museum will be announced at the V&A London on Thursday 5 July 2018, with the recipient receiving a £100,000 prize and the other shortlisted museums receiving £10,000 each in recognition of their achievements.
This year’s award jury, chaired by Dr Stephen Deuchar CBE, comprises Ian Blatchford, Melanie Manchot, Monishah Shah, and Rebecca Jones.
Last year, the award was won by the Hepworth Wakefield in West Yorkshire.
All museum photographs on this page are by Marc Atkins, and courtesy of Art Fund.
Brooklands is the home of British motoring and aviation. Pre-WWII, it was the site of the first purpose-built motor sport racing circuit in the world, and its Aerodrome was the most productive aircraft manufacturing centre in Europe. Brooklands Museum was established in 1987 to preserve the area's legacy and features a range of vintage motor cars and aircraft on display, including the supersonic jet Concorde.
The Ferens Art Gallery recently played host to the Turner Prize during Hull’s time as UK City of Culture 2017. In Front Row’s related feature, writer William Cook described it as a “beautiful building”, praising both its collection of Old Masters including Canaletto and Frans Hals, as well as its display of 20th-century British art, featuring paintings by Stanley Spencer, Lucien Freud, Frank Auerbach and more.
Glasgow Women’s Library is the UK’s only accredited museum dedicated to women’s history. Beginning in 1991 as a grassroots project, it now boasts a sizable archive of material celebrating female achievement, and supports women across Scotland through various schemes. GWL recently opened the Glasgow International Festival with an installation by feminist artist Linder, as featured on Front Row.
A museum about mail may sound dull, but The Postal Museum would prove you wrong, with an exhibition about letters found in a shipwreck, and a train ride – the Mail Rail - that explores London’s secretive underground postal network. Its array of interactive galleries is very popular with children and families, and the museum’s success has seen it grow from 3,000 to 185,000 annual visitors in only a year.
The rugged coast of St Ives has inspired artists throughout the 20th Century, and Tate St Ives proudly celebrates the art created there. Its collection features pieces by St Ives artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, as well international artists including Mondrian and Picasso. The gallery is heavily focussed on the community too, providing heavily discounted passes for residents of the area.