St Fagans National Museum of History has been crowned Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019.
Located just outside Cardiff, St Fagans National Museum of History has transported over 40 historical buildings from across Wales, and faithfully re-erected them within its 100 acres of beautiful parkland.
They include a Tudor merchant’s house and a Victorian country school, and visitors can watch blacksmiths, bakers and clog-makers demonstrate traditional skills. There are also three new galleries exploring the everyday lives of Welsh people across millennia.
The museum was chosen from five shortlisted museums: HMS Caroline (Belfast), Nottingham Contemporary, Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford), St Fagans National Museum of History (Cardiff) and V&A Dundee. It wins £100,000, with each of the other finalist museums receiving a £10,000 prize in recognition of their achievements.
Thank you to all of our staff, partners, volunteers and to the @artfund and @HeritageFundCYM. And thanks to you, the public – we're all a part of the St Fagans story, so this award belongs to us all ♥️ pic.twitter.com/CNOWYtYvsG
— Sain Ffagan|StFagans (@StFagans_Museum) July 3, 2019
Last year the museum completed its Making History project, a £30 million redevelopment to become Wales’ National Museum of History, opening new galleries and workshop spaces and transforming its visitor experience. Throughout the development, the museum remained open, welcoming 3 million visitors to enjoy recreated iron age houses, royal residences and a new craft centre, as well as engaging 720,000 people in shaping the museum’s transformation through an imaginative public programme – reflecting the museum’s aim to create history ‘with’ rather than ‘for’ the people of Wales.
Art Fund awards the Art Fund Museum of the Year annually to one outstanding museum, which, in the opinion of the judges, has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement across the preceding 12 months.
Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund Director and Chair of the judges, said:
“St Fagans lives, breathes and embodies the culture and identity of Wales. A monument to modern museum democracy, it has been transformed through a major development project involving the direct participation of hundreds of thousands of visitors and volunteers, putting the arts of making and building into fresh contexts – social and political, historic and contemporary. This magical place was made by the people of Wales for people everywhere, and stands as one of the most welcoming and engaging museums anywhere in the UK.”
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!”
Get free email updates
Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]