Yorkshire museum is museum of the year

 Hepworth Wakefield 4

(Above: The prize-winning Hepworth Wakefield, on the banks of the river Calder. Image:  © Marc Atkins.)

The Hepworth Wakefield has been named Art Fund Museum of the Year, winning the largest museum prize in the world.

The museum houses works by sculptress Barbara Hepworth, who grew up in the city, and a wider collection of 20th century art by her contemporaries such as Henry Moore, Brancusi, Gaudier-Brzeska, Naum Gabo and Mondrian. It is situated in a striking building designed by renowned British architect, David Chipperfield, overlooking the river Calder in Wakefield, west Yorkshire.  

The Calder, a contemporary art space opposite the main gallery, opened in August 2014.

Awarding the prize, Stephen Deuchar, director of Art Fund, said The Hepworth Wakefield had "been a powerful force of energy from the moment it opened in 2011, but it has just kept growing in reach and impact ever since. David Chipperfield’s building has proved a perfect stage – both for the display of collections and as the platform for a breathtaking sequence of special exhibitions, curated with determined originality by the talented curatorial team."

The Hepworth Wakefield scooped the £100,000 prize, ahead of competitors including Lapworth Museum of Geology (Birmingham), National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art (Newmarket), Sir John Soane’s Museum (London) and Tate Modern (London).

The Art Fund Museum of the Year prize is awarded annually to one outstanding museum for demonstrating exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement across the preceding 12 months.

This year, for the first time, each of the four other finalists received a £10,000 prize in recognition of their achievements.

Previous winners of the prize include the V&A, London (2016), The Whitworth, Manchester (2015), and Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2014).


Published: 10 July, 2017.