Museum of the Year 2016 finalists announced

  • 28 April 2016

We are pleased to share the shortlist of five museums competing for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2016.

The finalists are:

Arnolfini, Bristol

In 2015 the gallery and arts centre delivered a superb contemporary arts programme and reached a record number of people with exciting new learning initiatives.  

Bethlem Museum of the Mind, London

South London's fascinating museum of mental health was reopened by Grayson Perry in 2015 after an impressive transformation, which has led to a dramatic increase in visitors.

Jupiter Artland, West Lothian

​In the past year, the Scottish sculpture park and gallery opened a stunning new indoor space, launched a programme to support emerging artists, expanded their learning programme and much more.

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London

2015 was a remarkable year for the world's leading museum of art and design, from a record-breaking Alexander McQueen exhibition to its acclaimed new Europe galleries.

York Art Gallery

The gallery reopened in 2015 following a dramatic renovation, including the launch of beautiful new space for its ceramics collection

Follow the links above to view short films about each museum.

The Art Fund awards the Museum of the Year prize annually to one outstanding museum, which has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement. The prize of £100,000 will be awarded at the Natural History Museum on Wednesday 6 July 2016 before an invited audience of the UK’s museum and cultural leaders.

The judges for Museum of the Year 2016 are: Gus Casely-Hayford, curator and art historian; Will Gompertz, BBC Arts editor; Ludmilla Jordanova, professor of history and visual culture, Durham University; Cornelia Parker, artist; Stephen Deuchar (chair of the judging panel), director of the Art Fund.

Stephen Deuchar said today: 'Each one of these five museums is outstanding – not just for the collections they display, but for the people who work there, and the visitors whose lives they can change. Whether reaching audiences of thousands or millions, the best museums turn objects into culture, put audiences at the heart of their work, and engage with issues of the moment. This shortlist shows why and how UK museums lead the world.'

We have also opened our annual Museum of the Year Photography Competition. Send us a snap of your favourite finalist museum for the chance to win great prizes, including a photography holiday to Berlin. Leading photographer Rankin will shortlist the entries and the overall winner will be decided by public vote, which will be revealed ahead of the Museum of the Year winner announcement.

The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2016 will be celebrated across BBC networks in a series of broadcasts and online content.

Tags: art-fund-prizeMuseums and galleriesmuseum-of-the-yearSupporting museums