Llys Llywellyn (Llywellyn’s Court) is a partial reconstruction of an archaeologically-excavated royal site on the island of Anglesey

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.

Comments

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17.07.2019, 22:49
Congratulations to everyone at St Fagans for breaking the jinx on social history museums winning the Art Fund Museum of the Year award!! I was starting to think art galleries had achieved some kind of 'droit de seigneur' in the competition. It takes talent to make people stop, appreciate and engage with the everyday of yesterday.

Social history and open air museums surely embody the true spirit of museums where people are interested in the stories and not the prices and no one needs to sell their soul to the fossil fuel industry just to pay the insurance bill and cover the cost of couriering the works. The objects may be fragile but the egos aren't.

I really enjoyed my visit last Saturday as part of a delegation of museum fans from north-east Wales. And so did everyone else who was there whether zipping through the trees, exploring the changing homes of the Rhyd y Car terrace, engaging with the interactives in Gweithdy (The Workshop of Wales), chatting with the smith in the smithy, relaxing in the gardens of the castle or dreaming in the llys of Llywelyn the Great.

The cafe is good too and the national museum know I am hard to please on that front! Even the Russians in front of me in the queue were happy...

I look forward to seeing the reconstruction of the pub. I wonder if it will serve Wrexham Lager, the oldest lager recipe in the UK.

Llongyfarchiadau i bawb yn Amgueddfa Werin Cymru! Ysbryd Iorwerth Peate am byth!