Art Fund Prize judging panel announced for 2011

  • 12 November 2010

We're pleased to announce the full line-up for judges for the 2011 Art Fund Prize. The line-up includes Michael Portillo (Chair), Charlotte Higgins and Lola Young.

The judges are:

Michael Portillo, Chair , broadcaster and former cabinet minister
Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE, theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster
Jeremy Deller, artist
Kathy Gee, museums and heritage Consultant
Charlotte Higgins, journalist and author
Lars Tharp, Foundling Museum curator, broadcaster and Antiques Roadshow expert
Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey, Independent Cross Bench peer and writer, cultural critic, public speaker and broadcaster

Entries for the Prize close on 1 December 2010. The judges will then decide on a long list, which we’ll announce in January. They will then visit each long listed museum before deciding on a short list in May. The final winner will be announced at the Prize ceremony on 15 June 2011.

Michael Portillo said: "Those entrusted with Britain's rich resource of museum collections are constantly innovating, finding new ways to display their treasures, and seeking to develop their buildings with vivid new designs. This prize seeks to reward their efforts and to draw the public's attention to those advances. I am greatly looking forward to being able to visit some of the outstanding improvements around the nation, and to chairing the process by which we recognise the best of the year."

Lars Tharp said: "I'm honoured to be asked to come back for a second year on the Art Fund Prize Panel (2011). Our wonderful museums and galleries play a powerful part in defining who we are, locally, nationally and globally, whether in distant or recent times. Just how powerful museums can be is seen in my own daughters (now 18 and 24); in earlier years they would groan from the back seat of the car whenever we swerved to follow the arrows on a Brown Sign pointing to some collection or other; "Oh no, dad, not a museum…of…Plastic!" Despite the scars, both daughters have gone on to pursue degrees in History. Alas, museums will be even more challenged by the lean times our politicians have promised us. The prestigious Art Fund Prize is a marvellous opportunity for the sector, and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our museums and galleries.”

Baroness Young said: “After looking at last year’s long list, I'm struck by the rich variety - small and large, rural and metropolitan, general and highly specialised - and I'm very excited by the prospect of interacting with some of the most interesting and engaging work in the museum and galleries sector.”

Listen to a podcast interview with Michael Portillo about his involvement with the Art Fund Prize.