St Fagans National Museum of History has been announced as Art Fund Museum of the Year 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 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.
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.
Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director and chair of the judges
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."
This is just one of seven National Museums in Wales, each focusing on a different feature of our heritage. All are free entry and there is a regular programme of temporary exhibitions and wide-ranging events. The sites offer a variety of additional experiences for groups on request such as free guided tours / behind the scene tours, talks and workshops. Please contact the sites directly for details.
Published 9 July 2019