Page last updated at 01:39 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Wedgwood museum up for art prize

Wedgwood Museum
The Wedgwood Museum celebrates the art of ceramics

A museum dedicated to Wedgwood, the world-renowned, 250-year-old pottery company, is in the running for the 2009 Art Fund Prize.

The Wedgwood Museum in Stoke-on-Trent has been longlisted for the 100,000 prize along with nine other galleries.

It comes just weeks after Waterford Wedgwood went into administration due to the financial crisis.

Four museums and galleries will be shortlisted in April, with the winner announced on 18 June.

Housed on the historic manufacturing site of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Limited, the Wedgwood Museum celebrates the art of ceramics, with visitors able to see not just pots but a range of manuscripts, documentation, correspondence, factory equipment, original models and fine art.

The Braid: Arts Centre and Mid-Antrim Museum Co Antrim
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (for The Centre of New Enlightenment) Glasgow
Museum of Reading (for Outside the Box) Reading
National Museums Scotland (for Scotland: A Changing Nation) Edinburgh
National Trust Museum of Childhood Derbyshire
Orleans House Gallery Twickenham
Rotunda - The William Smith Museum of Geology Scarborough
Ruthin Craft Centre: The Centre for the Applied Arts Denbighshire
V&A (for The Sackler Centre for arts education) London
Wedgwood Museum Stoke-on-Trent

It is operationally and financially independent from the Waterford Wedgwood company, so has been unaffected by the firm's demise.

High standard

The Art Fund Prize is awarded to the project demonstrating the most "originality, imagination and excellence".

For the first time, a Northern Ireland museum has reached the longlist - The Braid: Arts Centre and Mid-Antrim Museum in County Antrim explores the history of the region from prehistoric times to its more troubled recent history.

Other museums and galleries on the longlist include The National Trust Museum of Childhood in Derbyshire and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

The Museum of Reading and Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham have also made the list.

David Puttnam, chair of the judges said: "This year's longlist will take the judges across the length and breadth of the country and there really is something for everyone, with museums and galleries exploring subjects as diverse as ceramics, crafts, geology and toys.

"These projects have all made an impact in their local areas during their first year of opening, and we are sure that the high standards they have set will make our judging a difficult task," he added.

The Lightbox in Woking won the prize last year.

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