The Whitworth Art Gallery has been named Museum of the Year 2015 at a ceremony, which took place at Tate Modern, on Wednesday.
The Whitworth was selected from an impressive list of finalists: The Imperial War Museum, Belfast's The MAC, The Tower of London, Oxford University Museum of Natural History and Dunham Massey in Altrincham.
At the prestigious awards ceremony, Novelist Ben Okri presented Maria Balshaw, Director of The Whitworth with the £100,000 Art Fund prize; the largest art award in Britain and the biggest museum prize in the world.
The panel of judges chaired by Art Fund Director, Stephen Deuchar were artist Michael Landy; books and arts editor of The Economist Fiammetta Rocco; design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn; and Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Commenting on the selection, Stephen Deuchar, said:
"The transformation of the Whitworth - architecturally, curatorially, and as a destination - has been one of the great museum achievements of recent years.
"Its galleries offer intellectual, visual and creative stimulus of the highest order; the collections are innovatively presented, the community engagement programmes are both original and unusual, and the visitor experience is exceptional throughout.
"We were particularly taken with the relationship between the reconceived building and its surrounding park: museum, locality and community merge as if one. And in a wider sense the Whitworth has changed the landscape: it truly feels like a museum of the future."
The Museum Prize Trust was set up in 2001 to reward the finest museums and galleries across the UK. Based on a visit by The Campaign’s team earlier this year, it’s clear to see what stole the judge’s hearts. Congratulations to The Whitworth and all the wonderful finalists.
** Look out for our interview with The Whitworth’s Steven Roper, our Big Draw Associate, over the coming weeks to find out what exciting Big Draw activities will be taking place at The Museum of the Year 2015!