‘Museum Of The Year 2013’ prize is awarded to the William Morris Gallery of Walthamstow, East London, UK

June 6, 2013 on 10:11 pm | In Art Awards, Famous Artists, Museums | No Comments


The William Morris Gallery (a museum) in Walthamstow has been awarded the Museum Of The Year 2013 by the Arts Fund, beating some very worthy competition and benefiting from a huge financial donation.

Art Fund Logo

This is good news in what has been a tense few years for Museums & local areas of historic interest with the Coalition government’s austerity measures resulting in cuts in local funding in these key areas. The relaunched gallery opened 10 months and is a shinning beacon in the borough for the arts and it is committed to promoting Morris’s legacy and life achievements.

William Morris (1834-1896) was a man of immense achievement and talent: a textile designer, writer, poet, artist, a socialist and hugely influential in a number of fields. He was a founding member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, The Kelmscott Publishing Press, The Socialist League, as well as being a key figure in both the Arts & Crafts Movement & the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Photograph of William Morris, 1887

Awarded yearly by the Arts Fund the prize rewards innovation in UK gallery & museums as well the creativity used in bringing artwork to life, in the previous year. As well as the main £100K prize the additional Clore prize is also jointly awarded, which allows £10K to promote learning schemes and will benefit the local community. Judges included: an MP – Labour MP Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central), a Journalist – Sarah Crompton (Telegraph’s arts editor) & artists – Roberta & Robert Smith.

Photograph of the William Morris Gallery

Director of the Arts Fund, Stephen Deuchar, had nothing but praise for Walthamstow Council and the members of the public who have been tirelessly campaigning for the building. After facing a potential closure, a public campaign led to a £3 million pound investment (funded equally by the council and the Heritage Lottery Fund) in the difficult restoration of this Georgian Building. The gallery is a tribute to his life and works & how fitting that it is within the building in Walthamstow that Morris grew up.

Thank you


Useful Links:
The Friends of the William Morris Gallery
Guardian Article
Art Fund Announcement
More on William Morris

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