London's iconic museum of art and design was announced as the winner of the £100,000 prize by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum.
Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director and chair of the judges, said: ‘The V&A experience is an unforgettable one. Its recent exhibitions, from Alexander McQueen to The Fabric of India, and the opening of its new Europe 1600–1815 galleries, were all exceptional accomplishments – at once entertaining and challenging, rooted in contemporary scholarship, and designed to reach and affect the lives of a large and diverse national audience. It was already one of the best-loved museums in the country: this year it has indisputably become one of the best museums in the world.'
Art Fund awards the Museum of the Year prize annually to one outstanding museum, which, in the opinion of the judges, has shown exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement across the previous 12 months. It is the biggest museum prize in the world and the largest arts award in Britain.
2015 saw a remarkable transformation for the V&A. It attracted nearly 3.9 million visitors to its sites, 14.5 million visitors online and 90,000 V&A Members, the highest in the museum’s 164-year history. December 2015 saw the Europe 1600–1815 galleries opening to great acclaim. 2015 also heralded one of their most popular exhibition programmes. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty became the V&A’s most-visited exhibition, attracting a record breaking 493,043 visitors from 87 countries, while the India Festival of exhibitions engaged visitors in the rich and varied culture of South Asia. Also, a major fundraising appeal reunited four angels originally created for the tomb of Cardinal Wolsey, one of the most powerful men in Tudor England.
Here is a short film about the Victoria and Albert Museum
Image above: Victoria and Albert Museum staff with artist Yinka Shonibare (third from right) © Rankin
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