ashmolean

News item from 2010

The Art Fund Prize

The Ashmolean Short-Listed for 100,000 Art Fund

The Ashmolean Museum is one of the great university museums of the world that extends and enhances public access to its remarkable collections of art and archaeology and is nominated for an ambitious redevelopment. The sensitively executed £61 million redevelopment, designed by award-winning Rick Mather Architects, has extended the Grade 1 listed building to provide 39 new galleries, complete with an innovative redisplay of the collections, an education centre, rooftop restaurant, conservation studios, study rooms and stores.

Of the short-listing, Christopher Brown, Director of The Ashmolean said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been short listed for the Art Fund Prize – this is a very exciting stage of the competition and it is a great honour for the Ashmolean to be selected. We are extremely grateful to all of our supporters who have voted for the Museum so far. At the heart of the Ashmolean’s redevelopment has been the ambition to transform the Museum to meet the needs of the 21st century public. As the public’s first museum, we will continue to open our doors to the widest possible audience to ensure their inspiration, enjoyment and access to the Ashmolean’s remarkable collections now and in the future. “

The four short-listed museums and galleries are:
The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Blists Hill Victorian Town, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
The Ulster Museum, Belfast

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Kirsty Young, Chair of the Judges comments: “My fellow judges and I have found it a very challenging task to select only four to go forward to the short list. Our visits have been eye opening and the exceptional quality of the long list has meant that we’ve been spoilt for choice. During our deliberations the Judges’ passion and enthusiasm for the museums and galleries was more than evident.”

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, comments: “The four institutions that have made the short list not only demonstrate the range of institutions throughout the UK but also the diversity of displays and innovative ways in which these museums are engaging with their visitors. There really is a wealth of excellence to celebrate.”

For the first time the Art Fund Prize website is hosting a public poll, with the option for voters to leave comments in support of their favourite museum or gallery. The long list poll closed on Friday 7 May, and the results along with the comments were passed to the Judges for consideration in making their decision. With over 40,000 votes, the poll has proved a great success and will re-open for the short list on Friday 14 May at 9am, before closing on Friday 18 June at 5pm. The poll results and online comments will again be given to the Judges for their consideration when selecting this year’s Winner. Visitors to the website can enter an exclusive competition to win a limited edition Jonathan Yeo print. To vote, comment, or for more information about the Prize go to: www.artfundprize.org.uk

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 30 June at the Royal Institution of British Architects in London.

The 2010 judging panel comprises:
Kirsty Young (Chairman), 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

Sky Arts returns as the TV Media partner for this year’s Art Fund Prize. A 30 minute
documentary is being broadcast on Sky Arts 2 HD thoughout May and June. The documentary looks at each of the long-listed museums and galleries and follows the developing story as the panel of judges visited the eleven venues all vying for the prestigious £100,000 prize. For more information go to: www.skyarts.co.uk/artfundprize

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