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The UK’s museums, galleries, and heritage sites have until January 15, 2024, to apply for the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2024, the world’s largest museum prize.

The winning museum will receive a substantial £120,000, and each of the four other finalists will be granted £15,000, marking a special increase in prize money to £180,000. The overall prize money was elevated for the 2023 prize to commemorate 120 years of Art Fund supporting museums.

This coveted prize not only acknowledges exceptional contributions by museums but also delves into the heart of what makes a great museum. It spotlights outstanding work and projects across the spectrum of UK museums, providing a significant platform to engage diverse audiences with these cultural institutions. Art Fund invites applications from museums, galleries, or historic houses in the UK, regardless of their size, that lead in excellence, make a substantial impact, and exhibit ambition. The focus is on outstanding and inspiring projects centred around audiences and communities, with an emphasis on community engagement, sustainable practices, and a commitment to redefining what it means to be the best museum for present and future audiences.

The announcement of a shortlist of five museums will happen in May 2024, with the ultimate winner unveiling in July. The recent recipient of the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023 was The Burrell Collection in Glasgow, receiving the £120,000 prize at a ceremony hosted by artist Sir Grayson Perry at the British Museum.

This award seamlessly aligns with Art Fund’s broader charitable initiatives supporting museums, including acquisitions, grant giving, support, and partnerships. The first ‘Art Fund Museum of the Year’ was awarded in 2013 to the William Morris Gallery in London. Its forerunner was the Prize for Museums and Galleries, administered by the Museum Prize Trust. Art Fund supported this prize between 2008 and 2012 when it was known as the ‘Art Fund Prize’. It was sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation from 2003-2007 when it was known as the ‘Gulbenkian Museum Prize’.

To find out more, visit Art Fund Museum of the Year.

Elena Leo is the Arts & Lifestyle Editor of Ikon London Magazine.