The Art Fund today announces the judging panel for the 2011 Art Fund Prize.
The Art Fund Prize is the most prestigious prize in the museum world and annually awards £100,000 to a museum or gallery that demonstrates excellence, originality and imagination for a project the previous year.
Last month, the Art Fund announced Michael Portillo as Chair of the Judges. The full panel of experts can now be disclosed:
- Michael Portillo, Chair, broadcaster and former cabinet minister
- Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE, theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster
- Jeremy Deller, artist
- Kathy Gee, museums and heritage consultant
- Charlotte Higgins, journalist and author
- Lars Tharp, Foundling Museum curator, broadcaster and Antiques Roadshow expert
- Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey, Independent Cross Bench peer and writer, cultural critic, public speaker and broadcaster
The submission period opened in October 2010, and closes at 5pm on 1 December 2010. The judges will select a long list, to be announced in early February 2011. The judges will then visit all long listed institutions before deciding on a short list, to be announced in early May 2011. The final winner will be announced at the Prize ceremony on 15 June 2011.
Lady Cobham, Chairman of the Museum Prize Trustees said: "The Museum Prize Trust is delighted that the 2011 Art Fund Prize for Museums and Gallery will be judged by such an illustrious and varied panel. Their wealth of collective expertise and knowledge brings incredible value to the Prize. Museums and galleries are an integral part of UK cultural life, and the Prize offers an opportunity to celebrate and recognise those who strive for excellence, creativity and public engagement."
Michael Portillo said: "Those entrusted with Britain's rich resource of museum collections are constantly innovating, finding new ways to display their treasures, and seeking to develop their buildings with vivid new designs. This prize seeks to reward their efforts and to draw the public's attention to those advances. I am greatly looking forward to being able to visit some of the outstanding improvements around the nation, and to chairing the process by which we recognise the best of the year."
Lars Tharp said: "I'm honoured to be asked to come back for a second year on the Art Fund Prize Panel (2011). Our wonderful museums and galleries play a powerful part in defining who we are, locally, nationally and globally, whether in distant or recent times. Just how powerful museums can be is seen in my own daughters (now 18 and 24); in earlier years they would groan from the back seat of the car whenever we swerved to follow the arrows on a Brown Sign pointing to some collection or other; "Oh no, dad, not a museum…of…Plastic!" Despite the scars, both daughters have gone on to pursue degrees in History.
“Alas, museums will be even more challenged by the lean times our politicians have promised us. The prestigious Art Fund Prize is a marvellous opportunity for the sector, and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our museums and galleries.”
Baroness Young said: “After looking at last year’s long list, I'm struck by the rich variety – small and large, rural and metropolitan, general and highly specialised – and I'm very excited by the prospect of interacting with some of the most interesting and engaging work in the museum and galleries sector.”
Under the umbrella of The Art Fund Prize, there will be a new Award in
2011 – the Clore Award for Museum Learning. The single award of £10,000 will recognise and celebrate quality, impact and innovation in using museums and galleries for learning activities or initiatives. The judging panel for the Clore Award will be announced shortly. Announcements for the Clore long and short lists and final winner will coincide with the main Prize announcements.
Full information on the Prize, its background and previous press information can be found at www.artfundprize.org.uk. You can also listen online to a series of podcast interviews with the judges, beginning this November with Michael Portillo.
Notes to editors:
The Art Fund Prize
The Art Fund Prize is administered by The Museum Prize, a charitable company created in 2001 by representatives of National Heritage, the Museums Association, The Art Fund and the Campaign for Museums.
These organisations agreed to put aside award schemes they formerly ran (including National Heritage’s Museum of the Year) and lend their support to this single major prize.
The Art Fund has sponsored the Prize since 2007, taking over from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation which administered the Prize for its first five years.
- Michael Portillo, Chair of the Judges, was born in North London in 1953. He joined the Conservative Research Department in 1976, where he spent three years. At the General Election in 1979 he was responsible for briefing Margaret Thatcher before her press conferences. For the next two years he was special adviser to the Secretary of State for Energy. He worked for Kerr McGee Oil (UK) Ltd from 1981 - 1983. He contested the Birmingham Perry Bar seat at the 1983 Election.
- Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE is a scientist, author and broadcaster. Heis a leading academic nuclear physicist based at the University of Surrey where he holds a personal chair in physics and the first University of Surrey chair in the Pubic Engagement in Science; he is also vice president and trustee of the British Science Association. He has written a number of popular science books, translated into 13 languages.
- Jeremy Deller is a celebrated British artist whose work combines performance, video, sound, ephemera, and photographs. Born in 1966 in London, Jeremy Deller studied art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and later undertook an MA at University of Sussex. His work explores the cultural and political heritage of Britain and its folklore. Deller was appointed a Trustee of the Tate Gallery in 2007. Recent projects include the 2009 free and uniquely Mancunian Procession through Manchester city centre.
- Kathy Gee is a museums consultant and Director of Volition Associates, which works in the cultural sector to enable strategic and individual development. She became CEO of the West Midlands Regional Museums Council in 1990 and then MLA West Midlands until 2006. In 2006 she received the Museums & Heritage ‘Outstanding Contribution’ Awards for Excellence. She was an Art Fund Prize judge last year.
- Charlotte Higgins is the chief arts writer for the Guardian newspaper, producing news, features, op-ed pieces, literary reviews and essays. Her blog on culture is at guardian.co.uk/charlottehiggins. A classicist by education, Charlotte is the author of two books on aspects of the ancient world: Latin Love Lessons and It’s All Greek To Me, and is working on a book about Roman Britain, to be published by Jonathan Cape. She was awarded the 2010 Classical Association prize.
- Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey was a professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University, and is a writer, cultural critic, public speaker and broadcaster. Lola has sat on the Boards of several national cultural organisations including the South Bank Centre, the Royal National Theatre, and the Royal commission on Historical Manuscripts. An Independent Cross Bench peer, Lola has been involved in promoting ethical, sustainable fashion. Recently Baroness Young was appointed to the House of Lords EU Select Committee and as Chair of its Social Policies and Consumer Protection sub-committee.
- Ceramics historian Lars Tharp is a freelance lecturer, writer, exhibition curator and independent art consultant. As its Hogarth Curator he was recently made ambassador of London's Foundling Museum. He has been a regular member of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow team since 1986. Lars was a judge on the 2010 Art Fund Prize panel and has been a museum enthusiast since his early childhood in Copenhagen.
The Museum Prize Trust
The Trustees of the Museum Prize are:
- Penelope, Viscountess Cobham (Chairman)
- James Bishop (representing National Heritage)
- Ylva French
- Sandy Nairne (Art Fund nominee)
- Mark Taylor (representing the Museums Association)
- Sam Mullins
The Art Fund is the UK’s national fundraising charity for works of art. We believe that everyone should have access to great art and that by bringing together the contributions of all our members and supporters, we can play a part in enriching the range, quality and understanding of art for all to experience. We campaign, fundraise and give money to help museums and galleries buy and show art, and we promote its enjoyment through our events and membership scheme. Recent grant highlights include leading the £3.3 million campaign to save the Staffordshire Hoard, and helping to buy a new commission, Antony Gormley’s 6 Times, for the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. We don’t receive government funding; our members and supporters make our work possible. For more information, contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888.