20 July 2022

Horniman Museum & Gardens announced as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022

The Horniman Museum & Gardens has been announced as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022. The historic museum, set across 16 acres in Forest Hill, south-east London, was presented with the £100,000 prize—the largest award for the cultural sector in the world—at a ceremony at London's Design Museum.

The Horniman was commended for transforming its 2021 community programme in response to the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, and its commitment to engaging the public in the climate and ecological emergency.

Jenny Waldman, Art Fund director and chair of this year's judging panel, said: “The Horniman Museum and Gardens has now blossomed into a truly holistic museum bringing together art, nature and its myriad collections.

“Its values are woven through everything it now does, with a passionate team breathing life and meaning into every object, performance, plant and animal.

“In many ways it’s the perfect museum and I would encourage everyone to go and experience all it has to offer.”

The Horniman building was created in 1890 from designs by the British Arts and Crafts architect Charles Harrison Townsend. Funding the enterprise was Frederick Horniman, the heir to Horniman's Tea, a Victorian tea company. Horniman handed over the museum “to the people in perpetuity” in 1901.Today, the museum is a Grade II*-listed building that is run as a charitable trust. Situated in the heart of south London, the museum has an adjoining garden, including a butterfly house, an aquarium, an ornamental garden, a pavilion and a band stand. While free to attend, in recent years visits to the butterfly house and ornamental garden have come at a small cost.Inside, the museum is home to a collection of around 35,000 objects, including a large range of taxidermies and artefacts collected by Horniman on his journeys through China, Japan, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Canada and the US during the late 19th century.

Horniman director Nick Merriman said: “To be awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year, when the other finalists have such wonderful achievements to share, is an incredible honour. Thank you to the judges and to Art Fund. I particularly want to pay tribute to everyone involved in the Horniman, in whatever capacity, in 2021.

“It takes a community of people to create a museum that truly serves its local area. People love museums – we hear ‘I love the Horniman’ a lot – and this award is a great endorsement of love as a motivation for the work that we do here; love for our communities and love for the world we all share.”

“I think The Horniman is a model for how museums with traditional collections can be vibrant and relevant places for today's audiences,” Waldman says to the Art Newspaper.

The museum is currently seeking funds in order to refurbish and reinterpret its Natural History Gallery.

Follow the link to read more about the project - Horniman Museum

Further articles about the award can be found at Art Newspaper and Museums Association


We use Cookies on our website, by using micaarchitects.com you agree and accept our Privacy Policy.