The UK has some of the best museums in the world. But with hundreds of galleries and exhibitions scattered across the country, it can be hard to know where to start.
If you feel overwhelmed with choice, help is at hand. Art Fund has announced the list of finalists for its prestigious 2022 Museum of the Year award.
The five finalists offer something for everyone, from immersive libraries to active politics campaigns.
The winning museum – announced on July 14 – will receive £100,000 (€118,000) while the four shortlisted will each receive £15,000 (€17,000).
Why not check out the list of nominees and choose your own winner?
Manufacturing Museum, Derby
Located in Derwent Valley Mills – the world’s first modern mill and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – this newly opened museum chronicles Derby’s 300 years of innovation.
“We like to think that the museum is inspired by the creators of the past, built by the creators of today, creators of the futuresays Tony Butler, executive director of Derby Museums.
From fascinating exhibitions on industrialization to creative play sessions for babies, the diverse program hopes to stimulate new creativity in the valley that changed the world.
Horniman Museums and Gardens, London
Located in the heart of South East London, the Horniman Museum and Gardens – spread over 6 acres of landscaped parkland – houses an extensive collection of objects relating to the environment, ecology and human cultures.
The beloved institution also has an aquarium, butterfly house and Sunday market, as well as an inspiring program of exhibitions and events.
“We are the only one in London museum where you can see nature and culture side by side,” says Nick Merriman, Managing Director and Chief Content Officer.
People’s History Museum, Manchester
The People’s History Museum doesn’t just document the past – it works to change the future.
The institution encourages active citizenship, telling the story of democracy in Britain through a huge collection of political material including papers, posters, prints, badges and more.
The museum recently worked with the coalition group Together With Refugees, to campaign against the Citizenship and Borders Bill, and joined 350 organizations to oppose the Policing, Crime, courts and penalties.
The History Museum, Oxford
Oxford’s beautiful history museum celebrates storytelling and reading.
More than 10 intriguing immersions galleries – from Whispering Wood to the Enchanted Library and Treasure Chamber – this spellbinding museum seeks to enhance literacy and independent reading for local children.
With 26% of children in Oxford living below the poverty line, this is an urgent mission.
Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham
Housed inside a market alongside makers and traders, Tŷ Pawb – Welsh for ‘Everyone’s House’ – celebrates Wrexham’s rich history and community spirit.
The unique setting offers a program of exhibitions, projects and live performances in the middle of a covered public square. Lle Celf Ddefnyddiol (Useful Art Space) opened in 2021 as a hub for local creatives and workshops.