Three Swedish museums, dedicated to mountains, women’s history and the artistic process, are up for the 2019 award.
The Härjedalen Mountain Museum in Funäsdalen, the Museum of Sketches for Public Art (Skissernas Museum) in Lund and the Museum of Women’s History (Kvinnohistoriskt) in Umeå have been nominated for the country’s Museum of the Year award.
The Swedish Museums Association and the Swedish branch of the International Council of Museums are behind the “prestigious” award, which will be presented in Östersund on April 9.
Last year, it was the Gothenburg Museum of Art that walked away with the prize.
“With this year’s museum award we want to pay attention to museums that are innovative, which have a great impact on the audience and contribute to the image of Swedish museums as important and independent,” says Mats Persson, secretary general of the Swedish Museums Association.
The public were able to propose their favourite museums to the jury, which then nominated three finalists. The jury says it will now examine these museums’ ability to “conduct creative and innovative activities” as well as their impact on visitors.
The jury has outlined the reasons for choosing the three museums.
“By examining prejudices and deliberately challenging the established stories of the local area, Härjedalen’s Mountain Museum has highlighted a diversity of previously invisible perspectives and broadened the image of the world of mountains,” the jury claims.
The Women’s History Museum, meanwhile, “has established itself as a direct and innovative arena for knowledge and debate. By creating secure rooms, research on power, history and gender can be highlighted, and thoughts, ideas and methods stimulate active participation in an intangible cultural heritage.”
The jury adds: “The discussion on inclusion and exclusion in a democratic society helps to emphasise the museum’s role as a stimulating meeting place.”
And the Museum of Sketches for Public Art “demonstrates how a strategic overall perspective looks like in theory and practice. With the artistic process in focus, an impressive visualisation is created that attracts both new and familiar audiences.”