The brand new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway has been nominated for the prestigious Art Fund Prize 2011.
The £21 million museum - which charts the life and work of Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns, and opened in December 2010 - is in the running for Museum of the Year.
It is one of ten museums to be listed for the coveted £100,000 award, which recognises excellence and innovation in museums and galleries around the UK for a project which was undertaken or completed in 2011.
Four museums will then be shortlisted for the award, with the announcement made on May 19, before the final winner is selected on June 15.
Nat Edwards, the director of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, said he is delighted with the nomination: "Both as a writer and as a man, Robert Burns was someone who wasn’t afraid to break the rules. In the new museum we have created to house the world’s best Burns collection, we have tried to stay true to the poet by really pushing the boundaries of how a literary collection can be presented.
“To be selected for the Art Fund Prize 2011 long list is a great vindication for the National Trust for Scotland, not just of all the hard work that has gone into creating the museum, but also of its spirit of innovation, risk-taking and fun.”
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum showcases a collection of more than 5,000 artefacts, original manuscripts and memorabilia, along with interactive displays and a new exhibition by Scottish artist Peter Howson.
The musesum was partly paid for with donations from individuals and money from the Scottish Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire and South Ayrshire Council.
The building boasts a unqiue “sedum roof” which insulates the space, while heating and cooling is controlled by 12 earth energy ground-source heat pumps. It has been hailed as the “largest and most ambitious project" the National Trust for Scotland charity has undertaken.
Two other Scottish museums – the Hunterian in Glasgow and the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh - have also been nominated for the Clore Award for Museum Learning, which has a £10,000 prize, which is a new award under the umbrella of the Art Fund Prize.
Members of the public are being asked to vote online for the museum they think should win the Art Fund Prize by visiting www.artfundprize.org.uk.
A TOAST TO BURNS:
- New Burns museum opens
- Nigel Buckland pays a visit to the museum
- Lots of Burns information for enthusiasts
- Visit the website of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum