History

Art Fund Museum of the Year is the world’s biggest museum prize and the UK’s largest arts award.

Art Fund’s involvement goes back to 2008, when it took over administration of the prize from Museum Prize Trust. From 2003-2007, it was called the ‘Prize for Museums and Galleries’ and was sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The prize champions what museums do, encourages people to visit and gets to the heart of what makes a truly outstanding museum. The judges present the prize to the institution that has met one or more of the following criteria: undertaken projects that provide a lasting legacy or have a transformative effect; brought collections to life for audiences in exceptional ways; delivered an innovative programme of audience development, learning or outreach; and clearly won the support and enthusiasm of its visitors and users.

A list of the winners, nominated museums and judges from the past 9 years, can be found below.

Previous winners and shortlist

2017 Winner 

The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

Finalists
Lapworth Musuem of Geology, National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, Sir John Soane's Museum, Tate Modern

Judges
Chair of the judges: Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, Hartwig Fischer, director of the British Museum, Jo Wiley, radio DJ and television presenter, Munira Miza, adviser on arts and philanthropy, and Richard Deacon, sculptor


2016 Winner 

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Finalists
Arnolfini, BristolBethlem Museum of the Mind, LondonJupiter Artland, West LothianYork Art Gallery

Judges
Chair of the judges: Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, Gus Casely-Hayford, Curator and art historian, Will Gompertz, BBC Arts editor, Professor Ludmilla Jordanova, Historian and Cornelia Parker OBE RA, Artist


2015 Winner 

The Whitworth, Manchester

Finalists
Dunham Massey (National Trust), AltrinchamIWM LondonThe MAC, BelfastOxford University Museum of Natural HistoryHM Tower of London

Judges
Chair of the judges: Stephen Deuchar, director of Art Fund, Michael Landy, artist, Alice Rawsthorn, design critic, Fiammetta Rocco, arts journalist and Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum


2014 Winner 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

Finalists
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, East SussexHayward Gallery, LondonMary Rose Museum, PortsmouthSainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, NorwichTate Britain, London

Judges
Chair of the judges: Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, Sally Bacon, director of the Clore Duffield Foundation, Michael Craig-Martin, artist, Wim Pijbes, general director of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Anna Somers Cocks, founder of The Art Newspaper


2013 Winner 

William Morris Gallery, London

Finalists
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, GatesheadBeaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, Hepworth Wakefield, WakefieldHorniman Museum & Gardens, London, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, CambridgeNarberth Museum, PembrokeshirePreston Park Museum, Stockton-on-Tees,

Judges
Chair of the judges: Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, Bettany Hughes, historian and broadcaster, Bob and Roberta Smith, artist, Sarah Crompton, arts editor in chief of the Daily Telegraph and Tristram Hunt, historian, writer, broadcaster and Labour MP for Stoke on Trent Central


2012 Winner 

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter

Finalists
The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, West YorkshireNational Galleries of Scotland, EdinburghWatts Gallery, Guildford, Surrey

Judges
Chair of the judges: Chris Smith, Lord Smith of Finsbury, Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE, theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster, Charlotte Higgins, journalist and author, Lucy Worsley, chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces, Sir Mark Jones, art historian, Rick Mather, architect, Lisa Milroy, artist


2011 Winner 

British Museum, London

Finalists
The Polar Museum, CambridgeRobert Burns Birthplace Museum, AllowayRoman Baths Museum, Bath

Judges
Chair of the judges: Chris Smith, Lord Smith of Finsbury, Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE, theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster, Charlotte Higgins, journalist and author, Lucy Worsley, chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces, Sir Mark Jones, art historian, Rick Mather, architect, Lisa Milroy, artist


2010 Winner 

Ulster Museum, Belfast

Finalists
Ashmolean Museum, OxfordBlists Hill Victorian Town, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Shropshire, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

Judges
Chair of the judges: Kirsty Young, broadcaster, Kathy Gee, museums and heritage adviser, Professor A C Grayling, professor of philosophy, Birkbeck College, London, Professor J Steve Jones, professor of genetics, University College London, Sally Osman, communications consultant and former director of communications, BBC, Lars Tharp, director, the Foundling Museum and BBC Antiques Roadshow expert, Jonathan Yeo, artist


2009 Winner 

Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent

Finalists
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham, Ruthin Craft Centre: The Centre for the Applied Arts, Denbighshire,

Judges
Chair of the judges: David Puttnam, film-maker and educationalist, Robert Crawford, outgoing director general of the Imperial War Museum, Sally Osman, communications consultant and former director of communications at the BBC, Grayson Perry, Turner Prize-winning artist, Marcus du Sautoy, mathematician and author , Maggie Semple, chief executive of The Experience Corps, Mary Ann Sieghart, journalist and broadcaster 


2008 Winner 

The Lightbox, Woking

Finalists
The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Bristol, Shetland Museum and Archives, Lerwick, Shetland, Wellcome Collection, London

Judges
Chair of the judges: Sue MacGregor CBE, broadcaster, Keith Khan, head of culture for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Diane Lees, director of the V&A Museum of Childhood and director designate of the Imperial War Museum, Christopher Lloyd CVO, former surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, Dr Mark Miodownik, head of Materials Research Group, King’s College London, Maggie Semple OBE, chief executive of The Experience Corps Ltd, Emma Soames, editorial director of SAGA Publishing