Norwich’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts narrowly misses out on prestigious national award

Museum of the Year judges( l to r) Wim Pijbes, Sally Bacon, Anna Somerset Cocks and Stephen Deuchar

Museum of the Year judges( l to r) Wim Pijbes, Sally Bacon, Anna Somerset Cocks and Stephen Deuchar visit the Sainsbury Centre. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Norwich's Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts has narrowly missed out on a prestigious national award.

Guests at the launch night of Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia a major exhibition of works of art c

Guests at the launch night of Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia a major exhibition of works of art celebrating the artistic heritage of East Anglia at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Photo: Steve Adams

The centre, which is based on the University of East Anglia campus, was one of six finalists for the Art Fund's £100,000 Museum of the Year Award.

Fellow 2014 finalists included: Tate Britain, in London; Hayward Gallery, in London; Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, in East Sussex; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in Wakefield; and The Mary Rose Museum, in Portsmouth.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park was tonight crowned the winner at the award ceremony at the National Gallery in London, where film and theatre director Sam Mendes praised all six finalists.

He said: 'The dedication, love and unbelievable creativity of the six candidates for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year are clear for all to see, as is the creative health of the UK Museum community as a whole.'


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The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is housed in the first public building designed by architect Lord Foster.

Gifted by Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury to the University of East Anglia in 1973, the Sainsbury Collection brings together art from many cultures around the world, dating from 4000BC to the present. The collection features work by many prominent European artists including Hans Coper, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Giacometti, Picasso, Jacob Epstein and Lucie Rie. The centre also houses The Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau.

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In 2013 the Sainsbury Centre hosted its most ambitious exhibition, Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia, which was curated by former EDP arts correspondent Ian Collins, and which attracted nearly 46,000 visitors. The Sainsbury Centre is currently presenting the show Monument: Aftermath of War and Conflict, an exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

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