David Puttnam to chair The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries 2009

  • 2 October 2008

Oscar-winning film producer David Puttnam will chair this year's panel for the UK's largest single arts prize, The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries. Joining him are six high-profile personalities from the worlds of culture, academia, business and the media.

Oscar-winning film producer David Puttnam will chair this year’s panel for the UK’s largest single arts prize, The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries. Joining him are six high-profile personalities from the worlds of culture, academia, business and the media:

º David Puttnam (chair), film-maker and educationalist
º Robert Crawford, outgoing Director General of the Imperial War Museum
º Sally Osman, communications consultant and former Director of Communications at the BBC
º Grayson Perry, Turner Prize-winning artist
º Marcus du Sautoy, Mathematician and author
º Maggie Semple, Chief Executive of The Experience Corps
º Mary Ann Sieghart, Journalist and broadcaster

These judges will work together over the coming months to decide which UK museum or gallery should win the coveted £100,000 award and the accolade of Museum of the Year. Their selection process will begin in February 2009 when they will choose a long list of ten museums and galleries to compete for the award. In April, ten will be whittled down to a short list of four and in June, one winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in London.

The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries is intended to recognise and celebrate originality and excellence in museums and galleries and increase public appreciation and enjoyment of all they have to offer. The award is open to all museums and galleries in the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man for an outstanding project completed in the past 12 months. Applications are now invited at www.artfundprize.org.uk and the closing date for entries is Friday 31 October 2008.


Lord Puttnam of Queensgate, CBE (Chair)

David Puttnam was an independent film producer for 30 years, his many award winning films include Chariots of Fire, Bugsy Malone, and The Killing Fields. He retired from film production in 1998 and now focuses on his work in education and the environment.

He is Chancellor of the Open University; was the founder and Chair of Trustees of the National Teaching Awards; and served as the inaugural Chair of the General Teaching Council. He was also founding Chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, and for ten years, the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. He has also served as Trustee of both the Tate Gallery and the Science Museum. Since July 2002 he has been President of Unicef U.K.

David Puttnam was awarded a CBE in 1982, received a Knighthood in 1995 and was appointed to the House of Lords in 1997.

Having served as Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Climate Change Committee he is currently helping to steer the world’s first Climate Change Bill through Parliament. In France he has been honoured as a Chevalier, Officer and, most recently, Commander of Arts and Letters.

Sir Robert Crawford CBE

Sir Robert Crawford joined The Imperial War Museum as a Research Assistant in 1968, where he continued as Head of Research and Information, Keeper of the Department of Photographs, Assistant Director, and Deputy Director-General before becoming Director-General in 1995. He retired from the Imperial War Museum in September 2008.

He is a Trustee of the Florence Nightingale Museum, Royal Logistics Corps Museum, Fleet Air Arm Museum, Horniman Museum and Gardens, National Maritime Museum, Chatham Historic Dockyard, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Greenwich Foundation. He was Chairman of the National Museum Directors' Conference from 2001-2006.

Sir Robert Crawford is a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glovers, vice-president of the Federation of Merchant Mariners and patron of the Evacuees Reunion Association. He was awarded a CBE in 2002 for services to museums, and was created a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List, 2007.

Sally Osman

Sally Osman is a consultant specialising in integrated marketing and communications, corporate, organisational and brand storytelling. She was the BBC’s Director of Communications for nearly 10 years, heading strategic communications for the last BBC Charter and Licence Fee settlement, as well as numerous crises and consumer campaigns

Before the BBC, Sally Osman was part of the Channel 5 launch team and also led BSkyB’s communications operation during its early growth. She is an award-winning magazine editor and former journalist with the Daily Mail and Western Mail in Cardiff.

She is a fellow and former Vice Chair of the Royal Television Society and a trustee of the National Foundation for Youth Music and The Art Fund.

Grayson Perry

Best known for winning the Turner Prize in 2003, Grayson Perry has exhibited his ceramics, sculptures, prints and textiles widely for 25 years. Recent shows have included The Charms of Lincolnshire, a show working with a collection of social history artefacts, My Civilisation, a large survey of his work shown in The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan and Mudam, Luxembourg and Unpopular Culture, a touring show curated from the Arts Council collection.

He has also written a weekly arts column for The Times and has made television documentaries such as Why Men wear Frocks. He is regularly featured on television and radio programmes including Late Review, Thinking Allowed and Question Time.
Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus du Sautoy is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford and a Senior Media Fellow at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He has been named by the Independent on Sunday as one of the UK's leading scientists and in 2001 won the prestigious Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society. In 2004 Esquire magazine chose him as one of the 100 most influential people under 40 in Britain and in 2008 he was included in the Who’s Who directory.

He is author of the best-selling popular mathematics book The Music of the Primes, and his new book Finding Moonshine: a mathematician’s journey through symmetry’ was published in February 2008.

Marcus du Sautoy writes for The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and The Guardian and regularly appears on BBC television and radio, for which he has written and presented several series. He gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 2006. He has recently written and presented a four-part landmark series for BBC4, ‘The Story of Maths’, to be broadcast in October 2008.

Maggie Semple OBE

Maggie Semple is Chief Executive and a Director of The Experience Corps. She was previously Director of the Learning Experience at the New Millennium Experience Company, Director of Education and Training at Arts Council England, a teacher, school inspector, a deputy head teacher and a professional dancer.

She serves on a number of boards including the British Library, National Museum of Science and Industry, Sadlers Wells Theatre Trust and the Brit School. She is Chair of the National Research and Development Centre at the Institute of Education (London) and Chair of National Youth Music Theatre.

In 2000 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from De Montfort University and an OBE for her services to education.

Mary Ann Sieghart

Mary Ann Sieghart is a writer and broadcaster. She spent 19 years at The Times as Assistant Editor, Arts Editor, Comment Editor, columnist and chief political leader-writer. Before that, she was Political Correspondent of The Economist, City Editor of Today and a Lex columnist on the Financial Times. She chaired the revival of The Brains Trust on BBC2 and presented The World This Week on Channel 4, as well as being a guest presenter on Start the Week. She regularly appears on TV and radio programmes such as Question Time, Any Questions, Today, Newsnight, The World Tonight, The World at One and Channel 4 News. Mary Ann spent six years as vice-chair of North Fulham New Deal for Communities and has also served as a trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund. She currently presents Newshour on the BBC World Service.


For more press information, please contact Iliana Taliotis at Colman Getty on
T: 020 7631 2666 or iliana@colmangetty.co.uk

Notes to editors:

º The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries is administered by the Museum Prize, a charitable company created in 2002 by The Art Fund, the Campaign for Museums, the Museums Association and National Heritage. Its trustees are Penelope, Viscountess Cobham (Chair), James Bishop (National Heritage), Ylva French (Campaign for Museums), Mark Taylor (Museums Association), Sam Mullins (London Transport Museum), Sandy Nairne (National Portrait Gallery), James Naughtie and Eleanor Updale.

º The Museum Prize is registered as a company in England and Wales No. 421870 and a charity No. 1093174. Registered Office: 24 Calvin Street, London E1 6NW.

º The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections. Recent achievements include: helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; putting together a unique funding package to ensure Dumfries House in Ayrshire and its contents were secured intact for the nation in July 2007; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org