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Article published 13/07/2023

A news release from Glasgow Life has announced exciting news of The Burrell Collection being named as Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023 at a ceremony in London, and on the BBC, last night (12 July).

Duncan Dornan, Head of Museums and Collections for Glasgow Life, was presented with the £120,000 prize – the largest museum prize in the world – by the artist Sir Grayson Perry at a ceremony at the British Museum, London.

The Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow, houses the 9,000-object collection of Sir William and Constance Burrell.

Managed by the charity Glasgow Life, it was officially reopened by King Charles in October 2022 following a major refurbishment and redisplay, which aimed to celebrate diversity through the museum’s rich and varied collection and create the most accessible, inclusive and sustainable fine and decorative arts museum in the world.

The Burrell Collection welcomed over 500,000 visitors in the year after its reopening and contributed an economic impact of £20 million for Glasgow in its first six months.

The redisplay was co-curated with a wide range of community groups to ensure the museum showcases diverse and inclusive perspectives, and the Burrell team also partnered with local schools and a range of diverse community groups to amplify their voices.

Over 100 pieces of unique digital interpretation from immersive experiences to interactive games give context and meaning to the collection on a scale and to a quality previously unseen with decorative and fine art collections.

Three people looking at a display item within a museum

Inside the Burrell Collection. Credit VisitScotland / Kate Abbey.

This prestigious award is fitting recognition of the hard work in so successfully reimagining one of the country’s finest visitor experiences. I’d like to extend our congratulations to the team at Glasgow Museums and everyone involved in further strengthening the cultural offering for visitors to Scotland.

The Burrell Collection is a jewel in the crown of Glasgow’s vibrant and diverse tourism product. Its renaissance has helped not only introduce new audiences to this world-class collection, but also to enhance Glasgow’s global reputation as a cultural destination. Meanwhile, its impressive visitor figures, and the associated economic benefits, show the importance in investing in Scotland’s valuable tourism and events industry.

To be named the Art Fund Museum of the Year will make this year a very happy 40th birthday for the Burrell, and it will undoubtedly encourage even more visitors to come and experience this award-winning attraction for themselves.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive

The Burrell Collection was one of five finalists. The other shortlisted museums are: Leighton House (London), The MAC (Belfast), Natural History Museum (London) and Scapa Flow Museum (Orkney). Each finalist will receive £15,000. Together with £120,000 received by the winning museum, the total prize money for Art Fund Museum of the Year is £180,000, specially increased for 2023 and beyond to mark the 120 years of Art Fund supporting museums.

You can read the full press release at the Glasgow Life website.

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