Post 99: And the winner is…
On the hottest day of the year to date I attended the Art Fund Museum of the Year award dinner. Clearly I was there with a secret mission to discover how we can be crowned Museum of the Year 2016.
This year there were six wonderful institutions that made the finals one of whom, Dunham Massey, had worked with our own Hendrix exhibition designers and two there were two London locations – the IWM and Tower of London. So whilst I felt perhaps had a vested interested in those, it transpired that the table plan by complete chance had put me on the eventual winner’s table – The Whitworth, the wonderful art gallery in Manchester which has recently been refurbished and opened after an 18 month closure period. You can imagine the whopping and delight at our table that followed the announcement by Ben Okri and for a moment I almost felt like a Mancuncian!
I can’t decide whether being within touching distance of their success is good or bad karma for Handel and Hendrix next year but I keeping my fingers crossed and thinking about the frock! To be honest I would be thrilled if we made it to the shortlist.
Finally, without going too overboard about this the other heart warming moment for me was that following an evening interspersed by various speeches from 5 men the first woman to grace the podium was the prize winner, director of the Whitworth, Maria Balshaw leading her all female team – go girls.
Enthusiasm: Seriously sweaty
Progress: the start of the new offices
Quote: “It is the lead work, not the bricks, that is awesome.”