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Brooklands Museum just misses out on world’s largest museum award

05 July 2018

Brooklands Museum was celebrated as a Finalist for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 yesterday evening, but just missed out on the top award which was won by Tate St Ives. The announcement, for the largest museum prize in the world, was made at a ceremony at the V&A in London by the artist Isaac Julien and Andria Zafirakou, the winner of the $1M 2018 Global Teacher Prize.

Supported by Art Fund, the £100,000 prize is designed to get to the heart of what makes a truly outstanding museum, seeking out innovation and exceptional achievement in museums and galleries across the UK, and working to encourage more people to visit. Brooklands’ was named as a Finalist in May this year marking the culmination of one of the Museum’s most important periods in its 27-year history, with a spectacular transformation of the site delivering extraordinary new exhibitions that tell the story of one of the most important sites in British motorsport, aviation and engineering.

Despite missing out on the main prize, Tamalie Newbery, Brooklands Museum’s Director and CEO refused to be downhearted, saying “Everyone at Brooklands Museum sends their congratulations to our friends at Tate St Ives for their deserved success. Although we’re disappointed not to have won, we were thrilled that the Museum’s incredible work in the past year was recognised by the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 and its panel of distinguished judges by naming us as a Finalist. Brooklands has always been a place that has celebrated human success and achievement and as a museum we have always tried to follow in the footsteps of the motorsport, aviation and engineering pioneers who made this site their home. Brooklands is still about people and community today and our nomination was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team here, not least our 800 volunteers who do so much to give our visitors a warm welcome.”

Art Fund Museum of the Year was decided by a panel from across the museum, art and media sectors. The judges were Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group; Rebecca Jones, BBC arts correspondent; Melanie Manchot, artist; and Monisha Shah, independent media consultant and Art Fund trustee and the judging panel was chaired by Stephen Deuchar, director, Art Fund. The other finalists for 2018 were Ferens Art Gallery, Hull; Glasgow Women’s Library and The Postal Museum, London.