The Art Fund Prize
THE WEDGWOOD MUSEUM WINS TOP ART PRIZE
It's official! The Wedgwood Museum is Britain's best museum.
The news that the independent Stoke on Trent museum has won the £100,000 Art Fund Prize 2009 - the UK's largest single arts prize - was announced last night (18 June) at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.
The Art Fund Prize honours the most imaginative and original museum or gallery of the year and is a huge accolade for the museum, which only opened last October after the charitable Wedgwood Museum Trust spent nearly a decade raising funds to build it.
"Everyone at the Wedgwood Museum is thrilled and excited at the news. The Art Fund Prize is the most prestigious award in the museum world and to receive such recognition for the new museum is undoubtedly the very best thing that has happened," said Gaye Blake Roberts, director of the Wedgwood Museum Trust.
"All of us here at The Wedgwood Museum really want to thank everyone for the support and encouragement during the judging period for this hugely important award and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the museum so that they too can enjoy this award winning museum and the wonderful collection.
"To have won is a great honour for The Wedgwood Museum Trust and Staffordshire, and we all feel very privileged that the new museum has received such acclaim and recognition. We also hope that the local economy will benefit from the national and international attention this award brings with it."
The final decision was made by a panel of seven judges, including film-maker Lord Puttnam and Turner prize winner Grayson Perry.
The other finalists were: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow; the Ruthin Craft Centre in Denbighshire and Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham.
The Wedgwood Museum is home to a vast collection of Wedgwood editions, as well as an extensive archive of social history documents, from copies of birth certificates to details of employees who have worked for the Wedgwood company over the last 250 years!