Your Favourite Museum
What do you consider when you decide which is your favourite museum? Ease of access? The ability to see the exhibitions clearly? To be able to interact with the exhibits? The friendliness of the staff? You can get to it easily? It’s open when you are able to go? It appeals to something that you’re fascinated with? The architecture attracts? It’s local to your community? Or maybe it has a good cafe and because you drop by for a coffee you spend some time looking at what is has. Is it one painting/exhibit that draws you back time-after-time? Could it boil down to the fact that there is more to see than at other places?
In truth, there can be any number of reasons as to what “favourite” means. Does it matter? It does when the Art Fund Prize worth £100,000 is at stake. Now there are just 4 museums left for you and the judges to consider as to who should get the money. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the oldest museum we have is one of the shortlisted along with the Ulster Museum in Belfast. The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry and Blists Hill Victorian Town in Coalfield, Shropshire complete the quartet that has been shortlisted after being visited by the judges.
About a third of the way into the public voting (and you won’t necessarily be the decider like you might be in the X Factor which is why I have decided to tell how the voting is going) and it is the Ulster Museum that leads the way over Blists Hill. The other two are some way back and need their supporters to vote to stand any chance at all.
A confession. I haven’t been to any of the 4 so I don’t feel can I vote. By its definition, favourite must mean something you have been to. That means that the most visited museums should stand a better chance of getting the prize as potentially they can garner more votes. Ones with fewer visitors have less chance so that may be why the judges will not necessarily follow the voting pattern of the public.
If you have visited any of the four, you can cast your vote by going to http://www.artfundprize.org.uk/2010/vote/