Our experienced and passionate panel of judges are responsible for deciding which finalist will be awarded the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year.

Stephen Deuchar

Chair of the Judges

Art Fund director since 2010, Stephen Deuchar has chaired the judging panel since 2013. Before joining Art Fund, Stephen was the first director of Tate Britain (1998 – 2009), having previously spent 12 years as a curator then exhibitions director at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.



Hartwig Fischer

Director of the British Museum since early 2016, Fischer began his career at the Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland, before becoming director of the Folkwang Museum, Essen, in 2006, where he oversaw a major building project with David Chipperfield architects. In 2012 he was appointed director general of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (State Art Collections, Dresden), with responsibility for 14 museums and associated libraries, archives and research centres. Here he led on the development of significant international exhibitions and research projects and oversaw several major building projects and renovations to the State Art Collection’s estate.

Jo Whiley

Radio DJ and television presenter, Jo Whiley presents an evening show on BBC Radio 2. Previously she worked at BBC Radio 1 – which she joined in 1993 – hosting shows including The Evening Session with Steve Lamacq and The Jo Whiley Show. Throughout her career, Whiley has also presented coverage of the Glastonbury Festival on Radio 1, Channel 4 and BBC TV, and in July 2009 she published her autobiography, ‘My World in Motion’. She is passionate about museums and galleries and for BBC Radio 2 visited organisations shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year, reporting on the MAC in Belfast in 2015 and on Jupiter Artland in 2016.

Munira Mirza

An adviser on arts and philanthropy, Munira Mirza was deputy mayor for Culture and Education at London’s City Hall for eight years. Here she oversaw the city’s cultural programme for the Olympics, Paralympics and Diamond Jubilee, and initiated a wide range of projects, events and funding programmes to support London’s creative life. She has previously worked for a range of arts and research organisations, including the Royal Society of Arts, Tate and Policy Exchange. She has written and broadcast extensively on cultural policy and is currently chair of the Royal Opera House’s Learning and Participation Committee.

Richard Deacon

Leading sculptor Richard Deacon was the subject of a large-scale exhibition at Tate Britain in 2014, while a ten-year survey of his work – ‘On The Other Side’ – toured to museums in Switzerland, Azerbaijan and Germany in 2015 – 16. A collection of his writings, ‘So, If, And, But’ was published in 2014. He has recently completed commissions in Beijing and Tokyo and is currently building a bridge in Belgrade. In 2015 he retired from his post as professor at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf, ending 38 years of teaching at art schools in the UK and other countries. He has been an Art Fund trustee since 2015.