Hepworth Wakefield has been selected as one of five finalists for the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017 and £100,000 prize money.
The winning museum will be announced at a ceremony at the British Museum in July and will receive the cash to benefit wide audiences. For the first time, each of the shortlisted museums will receive £10,000 as recognition of their achievements.
Simon Wallis OBE, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield, said: “We are so delighted that our work throughout our fifth anniversary year has been recognised by being shortlisted for this prestigious and coveted prize.
“And 2016 was an exceptional year for The Hepworth Wakefield because of the number and variety of people we welcomed to experience our ambitious and intelligently popular exhibitions, valued learning opportunities and engaging public events.
“In particular, we are proud of the successful launch of the first Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, which did so much to reaffirm and extend Yorkshire’s position as the home of British sculpture.
“It’s a great honour for the whole team at the gallery, and for the city of Wakefield, for our work to be nominated for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017.”
The other finalists, selected by a leading panel of judges including sculptor Prof Richard Deacon CBE, are: The Lapworth Museum of Geology, Birmingham; The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, Newmarket; Sir John Soane’s Museum, London; and Tate Modern, London.
Speaking on behalf of the jury, Stephen Deuchar said: “Each of these museums has had a remarkable year, reaching - in a range of ways - new heights in their efforts to serve and inspire their visitors.
“Whether unveiling new buildings, galleries, displays or public programmes, all the finalists have shown a real commitment to innovation and experimentation.”
The Hepworth Wakefield is asking visitors to the gallery why they think it should be named Art Fund Museum of the Year. Visitors can share their stories, reviews, photos, memories and moments on social media using @artfund #museumoftheyear.