Page last updated at 08:04 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 09:04 UK

Wedgwood museum up for art prize

Wedgwood Museum
The Wedgwood Museum opened in October last year

A museum dedicated to Wedgwood, the world-famous pottery company, has been shortlisted for the Art Fund Prize.

The Wedgwood Museum, in Stoke-on-Trent, is one of four museums competing for the £100,000 prize.

The others are Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, in Glasgow; Ruthin Craft Centre, in Denbighshire; and the Orleans House Gallery in west London.

The winner will be announced on 18 June at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.

The Wedgwood Museum's inclusion on the shortlist comes months after Waterford Wedgwood went into administration due to the financial crisis.

Original sketches

The Waterford Wedgwood company called in the administrators in January and US-based equity firm KPS Capital Partners later sealed a buy-up deal.

The museum is operationally and financially independent from Waterford Wedgwood.

Sketches and designs by potter Josiah Wedgwood, who founded the company in 1759, are on display at the £10.5m museum, along with Wedgwood ceramics and pottery from the past 250 years.

The four shortlisted venues were selected by a high-profile judging panel including film-maker David Puttnam and artist Grayson Perry.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is shortlisted for the second time in three years, this time for The Centre of New Enlightenment (TCONE), its new programme of educational events and experiences for young people.

We are thrilled with the geographic and cultural diversity of what has emerged on the shortlist
Lord Puttnam

The judges said that the programme was "original and infectious", and praised the way it encouraged young people to explore Kelvingrove in an active way.

The renovation and restoration of Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham, has transformed decaying buildings into a thriving community for heritage, arts and learning, with regularly-changing contemporary and historical exhibitions alongside its permanent collection.

Ruthin Craft Centre: The Centre for the Applied Arts is the most important gallery for contemporary craft in Wales.

Its new building has dramatically increased the space available for its rolling programme of contemporary crafts exhibitions, drawing on major collections at home and abroad.

Lord Puttnam, chair of the judges, said: "We are thrilled with the geographic and cultural diversity of what has emerged on the shortlist, with finalists around Great Britain and with museums and galleries both large and small.

"We will continue to enjoy the process of judging the prize and the difficult task of choosing a winner".

David Barrie, director of The Art Fund, said the museums made the shortlist for their "inspiring approaches to education, innovative ways to engage young people and general all round achievement and excellence".



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