Ulster Museum Nominated For Arts Prize

The revamped Ulster Museum has been nominated for the UK's largest single arts prize.

The shortlist for the £100,000 Art Fund Prize 2010 incorporates a wide range of museums that have seen major redevelopments over the past year.

The Ulster Museum will go up against the Ashmolean Museum, Blists Hill Victorian Town and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum for the award.

The short list has been selected by a panel of judges, chaired by newscaster Kirsty Young, following visits to each of the eleven museums and galleries who were long-listed in February.

Kirsty Young, Chair of the Judges, said: "My fellow judges and I have found it a very challenging task to select only four to go forward to the short list. Our visits have been eye-opening and the exceptional quality of the long list has meant that we’ve been spoilt for choice."

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, added: "This year’s short list is exceptionally strong; it vividly demonstrates the range of ways in which museums are creatively using their collections to engage visitors."

The Ulster Museum underwent its first substantial development in almost 40 years recently. The three year project, at a cost of £17.8 million, has radically reconfigured the listed building, offering a series of new galleries including interactive Learning Zones, a new Applied Art Gallery and state-of-the-art, three storey-high Window on Our World display.

The museum re-opened on 22 October 2009 with a landmark retrospective exhibition by world-renowned abstract artist, Sean Scully.

Since its redevelopment, the Ulster Museum has become Northern Ireland's busiest visitor attraction.

For the first time the Art Fund Prize website is hosting a public poll, with the option for voters to leave comments in support of their favourite museum or gallery.

The long list poll closed on Friday 7 May, and the results along with the comments were passed to the Judges for consideration in making their decision. With over 40,000 votes, the poll has proved a great success and re-opened for the short list on Friday 14 May, before closing on Friday 18 June at 5pm.

The poll results and online comments will again be given to the Judges for their consideration when selecting this year’s Winner.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 30 June at the Royal Institution of British Architects in London.


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