Museum of the Year 2017 finalists announced

We are pleased to reveal the five finalists for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017.

Art Fund Museum of the Year is awarded annually to one outstanding museum, which has shown exceptional imagination, innovation, and achievement. The winning museum which will receive £100,000, will be announced at a ceremony at the British Museum on Wednesday 5 July 2017. In addition, for the first time this year, the other shortlisted museums will receive £10,000 each in recognition of their achievements.

The finalists for 2107 are:

The Lapworth Museum of Geology, Birmingham

Last year saw the completion of an ambitious expansion project, transforming Lapworth from a niche academic institution into a dynamic, public-facing museum telling the story of the world’s four billion-year history.

National Heritage Centre of Horseracing Sporting Art, Newmarket

2016 saw the centre re-open after a major redevelopment project adding new galleries, exhibition spaces and a centre for the retraining of racehorses, right in the heart of the sport’s spiritual home.

Sir John Soane's Museum, London

Following a major restoration, the museum now looks like it did when Soane died in 1837 and has opened up numerous new spaces, expanding their displays, increasing access and strengthening its contemporary exhibition programme.

Tate Modern, London

Last year saw the opening of the Switch House, hugely expanding the gallery’s exhibition space and education programme, while welcoming more than six million visitors to see their globally significant collections and exhibitions.

The Hepworth, Wakefield

Celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2016, the museum launched a major new sculpture prize, expanded its learning and outreach activity, increased visitor numbers and strengthened its exhibition programme with a series of major retrospectives.

The judges for Museum of the Year 2017 are: Professor Richard Deacon CBE, artist; Dr Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum; Munira Mirza, arts and philanthropy advisor; Jo Whiley, radio DJ and television presenter; Stephen Deuchar CBE (chair of the judging panel), director of Art Fund.

Stephen Deuchar said today: 'Each of these museums has had a remarkable year, reaching – in a range of ways – new heights in their efforts to serve and inspire their visitors. Whether unveiling new buildings, galleries, displays or public programmes, all the finalists have shown a real commitment to innovation and experimentation, offering fresh perspectives and new ways of seeing and understanding their collections.'

This year we're asking visitors to the five finalists to share their best museum stories, reviews, photos, memories and moments on social media using #museumoftheyear. Find out more

Art Fund Museum of the Year will continue its partnership with the BBC, who will present a series of specially commissioned programmes across platforms.

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