Polar Museum in Cambridge awaits Art Fund Prize judges' visit

  • 1 April 2011

On Tuesday 12 April, Michael Portillo and fellow Art Fund Prize judges continue their visits to the Art Fund Prize long list with a visit to the Polar Museum in Cambridge

The Polar Museum is one of ten museums long listed for the prestigious accolade. It was selected for its recent renovation, entitled Promoting Britain's polar heritage: developing the Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute.

On Tuesday 12 April Michael Portillo will be accompanied by three fellow judges: artist Jeremy Deller, Guardian journalist Charlotte Higgins and Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey. They will be given a tour around the museum by Heather Lane, Librarian & Keeper of Collections and Museum Development Manager, Robert Smith.

In advance of the visit Heather Lane said: “We are looking forward to showing the judges what we have been able to achieve on a modest budget, not only in our renovated galleries but behind the scenes in the reserve collection and archives. We hope to be able to share some of the excitement that the whole team has felt in bringing the Polar Museum back to life.”

Have your say on who should with the Art Fund Prize this year. Vote online and enter a draw to win an iPad.

Here are some comments from people who support the Polar Museum’s bid:

“The museum has a wealth of information relating to the brave exploits of our past explorers. It is well set out, and uses the available space extremely well. It also utilises brilliant modern display techniques. My recent visit was my first and I was extremely impressed.”

John King, Cambridge

“After recently visiting the Polar Museum I was highly impressed with the incredible amount of resources they had, from old letters from the explorers to their families to their sleeping bags and goggles, even a marker flag that had been thrust into the Antarctica ice by the Norwegian team of explorers. The amount of information was outstanding but not overwhelming and my mum and I had a truly wonderful visit and would highly recommend it to anyone.”

Sophie Munnings-Tomes, Essex

“A beautifully presented and unique museum. Provides a wonderful opportunity to schools, and other visitors, to learn about the importance of the life and culture of the Polar regions. There is a special atmosphere at the museum that makes one feel that those who run and look after the place love what they do!”

Elizabeth Shorthouse