Poppy photo wins Museum of the Year Photography Competition

  • 25 June 2015

After a two-week public vote, Belinda Hastie’s touching photo of HM Tower of London wins this year’s contest.

Belinda Hastie's winning photograph taken at HM Tower of London Belinda Hastie/Art Fund

Belinda Hastie's winning photograph taken at HM Tower of London

Hastie’s photograph captures HM Tower of London’s installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red and one of the 30,000 volunteers who supported the project. The installation of 888,246 ceramic red poppies, representing fallen British and colonial servicemen in the First World War, was one of the most-visited works in the UK.

Belinda Hastie said of the win: ‘I was very keen to see the poppies at the Tower and so when a friend invited me up to London I suggested that we visit. It was a very busy Saturday, there were hundreds of people there, young and old. We joined the crowds and managed to get a front row view.


“It is amazing how such a simple flower can be so powerful.”

  • Belinda Hastie
  • Winner of the Museum of the Year photograph competition 2015

‘It was breathtaking... It is amazing how such a simple flower can be so powerful. The image of the sea of poppies spilling over the Tower of London is one I shall treasure.’ 

Six thousand public votes were cast to select a winner from a shortlist of six images representing the Museum of the Year finalists, chosen by the acclaimed photographer Martin Parr.

Parr said of the winning image: ‘The poppies in the Tower was the great cultural event from last year that captured the public imagination, so what a pleasure to see this image win. Also like all these great events, I am sure much of it was down to the energy and dedication of the volunteers, so having one such person feature was the icing on the cake.’

Hastie’s prize is a photography holiday in Berlin courtesy of Frui Creative Holidays and Courses, £500 of Calumet vouchers, and publication of her winning picture in Art Quarterly's autumn 2015 issue. In addition, she and the other five competition finalists will also receive a National Art Pass, and a copy of the best-selling book Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs by Henry Carroll, photographer, writer, and Frui Creative Holidays and Courses co-founder.

The winner of the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year will be announced on Wednesday 1 July 2015. The finalists for this year’s prize are Dunham Massey (National Trust), IWM London, The MAC, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, HM Tower of London and The Whitworth. Find out more about the finalists at artfund.org/prize.

Tags: art-fund-prizecompetitionsmuseum-of-the-year