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News release - Issued by York Art Gallery

York Art Gallery awarded Certificate of Special Commendation at the
European Museum of the Year Award 2017

York Art Gallery has been awarded a Certificate of Special Commendation at the prestigious European Museum of the Year Awards (EMYA) 2017.

The gallery was one of only five museums to have received the Commendation out of the 46 nominees from 24 countries including Russia, Italy, Estonia and France.

The gallery was the only British museum to be shortlisted for the awards which were announced on Saturday (May 6 2017) at a special ceremony in Zagreb, Croatia.

This is the latest recognition awarded to York Art Gallery since its reopening after an £8 million transformation in August 2015. These include winning the Family Friendly Museum of the Year and the York Visitor Attraction of the Year and being one of five finalists for the Art Fund Museum of the Year.

Reyahn King, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: “We are incredibly proud that York Art Gallery has been awarded a Certificate of Special Commendation by a team of judges at the European Museum of the Year Award 2017.

“The certificate is prestigious recognition for the transformation which has taken place at York Art Gallery following its £8 million development. This included the restoration and unveiling of a hidden Victorian roof space which created a brand new, beautiful gallery where the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) has now been established.

“It is a fantastic achievement for the gallery and for York to have been given this recognition and we hope it will help us build on York’s growing international reputation as an exciting cultural destination.”

A statement released by the judging panel said: "The Gallery has been commended for revealing the beauty and splendour of a Victorian building, fostering an intense dialogue between contemporary and traditional art, shaping and delivering a strategy for encouraging visitors to acquire new knowledge and form ideas for responsible citizenship."

This year’s ceremony coincided with the 40th Anniversary of the European Museum of the Year Award and the Council of Europe Museum Prize, the longest running and most prestigious awards in Europe aiming to recognize excellence in European museums and to encourage innovative processes for the benefit of society.

The Ceremony was attended by over 200 people from 29 European countries.
The overall winner of the European Museum of the Year Award was MEG – Museum of Ethnography, Geneva, Switzerland.

In addition to this Special Commendation, York Art Gallery has won the Family Friendly Museum of the Year from Kids in Museums and the York Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Visit York Tourism Awards. It has also won three Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) Awards (the RIBA Yorkshire Award 2016 and the RIBA Yorkshire Conservation Award 2016 as well as the RIBA Yorkshire Project Architect of the Year 2016 for Tom Van Hoffelen of Simpson & Brown)
Two York Design Awards (the Public and Community: Large Award and the Lord Mayor’s Award.

It also received the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) Visit England Gold Award for Excellence.

The awards follow the £8 million development of the gallery which saw the gallery space increase by 60 per cent, new learning spaces, a new café and a new Artists Garden. It also saw the creation of the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) which displays ceramics from the gallery’s collection of British Studio Ceramics, the largest in the UK.


Notes to Editors

Exhibitions at York Art Gallery:

Albert Moore: Of Beauty and Aesthetics
7 April- 1 October

Aesthetica Art Prize 2017
26 May- 10 September 2017

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf
3 June- 3 September 2017

Picasso: Ceramics from the Attenborough Collection
28 July- 5 November 2017

Paul Nash and the Uncanny Landscape: An Exhibition Curated by John Stezaker
Opens 20 October 2017

For further information or images please contact:

Lee Clark, Communications Manager: 01904 687673 /
Lauren Masterman, Press and Marketing Co-ordinator: 01904 650351/