Four UK Museums On Shortlist For Art Fund Prize

Four UK museums have made the shortlist for the Annual Art Fund Prize. The winner will get a hefty £100,000 ($161,000) donation, most welcome in these times of economic austerity.

One of the museums, the Hepworth Wakefield, only opened a year ago and has already smashed attendance expectations by attracting half a million visitors. Located in Yorkshire, it focuses on contemporary art and has an innovative modern building design.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter is housed in an elaborate Victorian building and has a broad-based collection ranging from local archaeological finds to Egyptian mummies, British watercolors and digital art. There’s also a natural history section with fossils, birds, insects and a rather intimidating tiger.

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh reopened last December after a major renovation and now features free entrance and 60 percent more space to show off all those guys in kilts. The Watts Gallery in Guildford showcases the work of famous painter G.F. Watts as well as a huge collection of Victorian photographs and temporary exhibitions of British art.

The winner will be announced on June 19.

[Top photo of Hepworth Wakefield courtesy Carl Milner]