St Fagans named Museum of the Year
Yosola Olorunshola, 04.07.2019
Redeveloped Welsh museum wins £100,000 prize
St Fagans National Museum of History (Sain Ffagan Amgueddfa Werin Cymru) in south Wales has been named the UK’s museum of the year.
Shortlisted alongside V&A Dundee, HMS Caroline in Belfast, Nottingham Contemporary and Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, St Fagans secured the £100,000 Art Fund prize after impressing judges with how it captures the culture and identity of Wales.
A statement from Art Fund said: “It’s won because our judges were impressed by how it lives, breathes and embodies the culture and identity of Wales and by the way it's forged a new and meaningful model of community collaboration.”
The prize follows a £30m redevelopment of the museum last year. The large-scale project was completed in 2018, involving the refurbishment of the main entrance building and the creation of three new galleries, as well as new spaces for learning and research. Over 40 original buildings were re-erected across 100 acres of parkland, offering a taste of Welsh life from different periods of history.
David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, said:
“It is the right of every citizen to participate in culture. I am delighted that St Fagans has been recognised by the Art Fund Museum of the Year judges for the work that we do at the museum, to give everybody an opportunity to engage with culture in a meaningful way.
“Thank you to museum staff past and present, and all our visitors, supporters, volunteers and partners, who have become part of the Amgueddfa Cymru family over the last 10 years. Without you, St Fagans would not be the museum it is today.
“We believe that cultural organisations can be and should be great storytellers. This is certainly a story we will be sharing for many years to come! Diolch Art Fund!”
The result was announced at a ceremony at the Science Museum in London on Wednesday.
Each finalist will receive £10,000 in recognition of their achievements.