Getting to know... Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Find out more about the six Museum of the Year finalists with our weekly Q&As. In the final instalment, YSP talks famous friends – from Henry Moore to Dizzee Rascal, and Billy, the park's former pet pheasant.

Name: Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Age: 36

Describe yourself in three words: Stunning, unique, inspiring.

What’s new with you? I host a changing programme of temporary exhibitions, so there's always something new! Ai Weiwei's work is currently on display in my newly refurbished 18th-century chapel, and the largest exhibition of Ursula von Rydingsvard's sculptures is in the Underground Gallery. There’s also lots of new work to see in the open air, by artists such as Tom Price, Julian Opie and Thomas Houseago.

What is your most treasured possession? My exhibition space – comprising five indoor galleries and a 500-acre landscape – which allows me to attract world-class artists to exhibit in Yorkshire.

Who was your most famous visitor? Henry Moore was one of my oldest friends – as a founding patron, he visited many times. I’ve had lots of new visitors over recent years including Alex James, Dizzee Rascal, Jenny Eclair and KT Tunstall.

Is there a museum/gallery pet? Yes, lots. There was Billy, the golden pheasant, who liked to wander the historic woodland. Nowadays I’m home to a couple of cats, a few cows, countless sheep, hundreds of bees and far too many more to name!

I shouldn't leave without experiencing... Seizure, 2008/13, by Roger Hiorns. The spectacular blue crystal installation, which was rehoused at YSP last year, never fails to amaze.

You have a museum crush on... It’s hard to choose just one. At the moment it’s probably got to be the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. They currently have an outdoor exhibition of work by Alexander Calder. I’d love to have his work here. I’ll keep chipping away at that one…

You’re most happy when… The sun is shining and I’m full of visitors enjoying both my indoor and outdoor displays.

What do you most like about your appearance? My beautiful, rolling Yorkshire hills and parkland, dotted with a mix of historic and contemporary architecture… and several sculptures, of course.

And dislike? It takes an awful lot of upkeep to look this good!

This year you’re excited about... Fiona Banner’s exhibition Wp Wp Wp which opens in Longside Gallery in September. Being a Museum of the Year finalist is also pretty exciting.

If I was named Museum of the Year I would... be really proud and delighted for all my staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to make me what I am today.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the Museum of the Year 2014.

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