Press Releases

St Fagans National Museum of History is Winner of £100,000 Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019

St Fagans National Museum of History was announced as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019 yesterday evening (3 July 2019), the most prestigious museum prize in the world.  David Anderson, Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales was presented the £100,000 prize by artist Jeremy Deller at a ceremony in the spectacular setting of the new Illuminate space at the Science Museum, London.

 

The winner was chosen from five shortlisted museums: HMS Caroline (Belfast), Nottingham Contemporary, Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford), St Fagans National Museum of History (Cardiff) and V&A Dundee.  Each of the other finalist museums receives a £10,000 prize in recognition of their achievements.

 

WINNING MUSEUM

 

One of Wales’ most popular heritage attractions, St Fagans explores the history and culture of the country. Last year the museum completed its Making History project, a £30 million redevelopment to become Wales’ National Museum of History, opening new galleries and workshop spaces and transforming its visitor experience. Throughout the development, the museum remained open, welcoming 3 million visitors to enjoy recreated iron age houses, royal residences and a new craft centre, as well as engaging 720,000 people in shaping the museum’s transformation through an imaginative public programme – reflecting the museum’s aim to create history ‘with’ rather than ‘for’ the people of Wales.

 

Art Fund awards the Art Fund Museum of the Year annually to one outstanding museum, which, in the opinion of the judges, has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement across the preceding 12 months. It is the largest arts award in Britain and the most prestigious museum award in the world.

 

The judges for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019 were:  David Batchelor, artist; Brenda Emmanus, broadcaster and journalist; Bridget McConnell, Chief Executive, Glasgow Life; Bill Sherman, Director, Warburg Institute.

 

Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director and chair of the judges, said: ‘St Fagans lives, breathes and embodies the culture and identity of Wales.  A monument to modern museum democracy, it has been transformed through a major development project involving the direct participation of hundreds of thousands of visitors and volunteers, putting the arts of making and building into fresh contexts – social and political, historic and contemporary.  This magical place was made by the people of Wales for people everywhere, and stands as one of the most welcoming and engaging museums anywhere in the UK.’

 

David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said:

 

“It is the right of every citizen to participate in culture. I am delighted that St Fagans has been recognised by the Art Fund Museum of the Year judges for the work that we do at the Museum, to give everybody an opportunity to engage with culture in a meaningful way.

Thank you to museum staff past and present, and all our visitors, supporters, volunteers and partners, who have become part of the Amgueddfa Cymru family over the last 10 years. Without you, St Fagans would not be the Museum it is today.”

 

“We believe that cultural organisations can be and should be great storytellers. This is certainly a story we will be sharing for many years to come! Diolch Art Fund!”

 

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “

This is fantastic news and an excellent recognition of the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm of the Amgueddfa Cymru staff and volunteers.  It certainly has been the Welsh Government’s honour to support the Museum in realising its vision for St Fagans.”