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The Whitworth up for UK’s biggest arts prize

24 Apr 2015

Reborn gallery announced as a finalist for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015

The Whitworth art gallery has been selected as a finalist for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015.

The coveted Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015 is the largest arts prize in the UK, celebrating the very best museums and galleries and acknowledging the creative and innovative ways they bring objects and collections to life for the public. The winning museum will be presented with £100,000 and crowned ‘Museum of the Year 2015’ at an awards ceremony held at Tate Modern, London in July.

The nomination follows a widely-acclaimed redevelopment project by MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight Architects) that reconnected the gallery to its surrounding Whitworth Park and doubled the public space.

Director of the Whitworth, Maria Balshaw, said: “When we reopened the Whitworth on 14 February we asked visitors to ‘Fall in Love Again’ with the Whitworth. With 130,000 visitors in two months we have exceeded all our hopes for our new building.

"Architects MUMA have delivered a thoughtful and sensitive expansion of our gallery that connects us to our park and to new and more diverse audiences. Our period of closure allowed us to develop programmes and partnerships that have taken the gallery to people we would have never reached: from locals at Moss Side Asda, to the crowds at Manchester’s best pubs, to city centre shoppers at Selfridges.

"Being shortlisted for Museum of the Year is a huge honour and a thank you to all visitors, old and new, who have come with us on this journey of transformation.”

An international judging panel will be called on to determine the winner, including Fiammetta Rocco, books and arts editor of The Economist, and Axel Ruger, director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.