Applications closed

Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023

Art Fund Museum of the Year celebrates excellence and ingenuity across the UK museum and gallery sector.

It’s the world’s biggest museum prize, which recognises outstanding work and projects, and provides a platform to encourage more visitors to engage with their local museums far and wide.

To mark 120 years of Art Fund supporting museums, the winner's prize money has been increased for 2023 and beyond to £120,000, with £15,000 going to each of the four other finalists, bringing the total prize money to £180,000. In addition, there is the opportunity to work more broadly with Art Fund during the prize campaign and beyond. It’s the perfect platform to shout about who you are and what you do, and we will support you through every step of the process.

What are we looking for?

We recognise that museums and galleries across the UK have faced unprecedented challenges over the past couple of years. Yet they continue to adapt to a rapidly changing world with creativity and resilience. So, it is even more important to champion creativity, innovation and excellence.

Through the prize we want to acknowledge and celebrate the exceptional lengths museums go to in order to be welcoming spaces for everyone and create an environment to nurture professional talent – ensuring a sustainable model for the future.

Art Fund are encouraging applications from museums, galleries and historic houses of all shapes and sizes across the UK, who can tell inspiring stories and demonstrate the positive impact their work has had on their visitors and organisations. We are especially keen to hear from those who have adapted their ways of working in any of these areas:

  • empowering audiences and communities
  • building partnerships and networks in new ways
  • embedding sustainable ways of working in all its forms

You can tell us about one or many projects that you undertook across the period of autumn 2021 through to winter 2022, which respond to any or all of these areas.

Whatever you decide to tell us about, we want to see examples of museums challenging the norm, thinking and doing things differently with confidence – all while building a positive legacy and demonstrating continued improvement. If you have a story to tell, we strongly encourage you to apply.

“I think the finalist nomination has done wonders for our reputation outside of Barnsley as well as fostering pride here – a lot of people mention it from all walks of life so it has made a big impact – we felt a lot of love from our communities.”

Experience Barnsley,
shortlisted in 2021

Could it be you?

If you are interested in applying or learning more about the prize or application process, please first read the application guidance pack, which details our terms and conditions and criteria for entry. You can also view the application questions in advance and find out more information about past winners and finalists here.

If you have any remaining questions, please contact Emma Mills, Art Fund Museum of the Year project manager, by emailing emills@artfund.org.

The deadline for applications is noon on 19 January 2023.

How to apply

To apply you will need to complete an application form through our online application portal by logging in to or creating a My Art Fund account.

You must be registered as a professional user. If you already have an account but are not registered as a professional user, you can add your professional details when logged in.

The form asks you to provide some information about your organisation, and answer three questions:

  1. In what ways has your organisation adapted to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world?
  2. What positive impact has this had on your venue, organisation and audiences? Please note your answer here will be stronger if you can demonstrate this with tangible evidence, either through sharing data, impact reports or relevant case studies, along with your supporting material.
  3. What would being shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023 mean for your organisation?

To complete your application, you will also need:

  • a letter of support from your director or Chair confirming their wish for the organisation to be considered for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023 and agreeing to our terms and conditions.
  • up to three (optional) pieces of additional supporting material to evidence your answers to the application questions.
  • up to eight pieces of supporting digital media (photographs, films, screenshots) that best illustrate your application. If you plan to include films, please do not send more than three, and they should have a total running length of no more than 10 minutes. If you plan to send PDFs, please limit this to two existing files.

If you require application forms in an alternative format, please contact the Programmes team on programmes@artfund.org

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