Tate St Ives Is Museum Of Year

"Beautiful & Breathtaking" declare judges

Since it’s reopening in 2017, we’ve been extolling the wonders of this bold seafront building that houses the legacy of St Ives’s artistic prowess – now Tate St Ives has been named museum of the year and oh how it deserves this accolade. In a haze of excitement, we’ve collated a selection of photographs of this special museum and some words from the press to celebrate this wonderful news.

The St Ives gallery beat a strong shortlist, including the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, which was completely refurbished in time for Hull’s term in 2017 as city of culture.


Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar said the extension was “deeply intelligent and breathtakingly beautiful”. Mr Deuchar, who chaired the judging panel, also said the redevelopment provided “the perfect stage for a curatorial programme that is at once adventurous, inclusive and provocative”.


The £20 million refurbishment doubled the exhibition space and provides a home for works by artists who were inspired by Cornwall’s light and landscape.


The solution for Tate St Ives’s Jamie Fobert-led redevelopment was to closely consult with the local community, and instead drill 500 square metres through a hard blue Evan rock cliff-face. Deuchar said: ‘The judges admired an architect and gallery team who devoted some 12 years to this transformational change, consulting with the local community all the way.’

‘You feel the presence of this diffuse light,’ Fobert said of the new extension, speaking to frieze last October. ‘It’s about volume and presence, not streams of sunlight.’ The gallery inaugurated its new space with a solo show by Rebecca Warren, titled ‘All That Heaven Allows’ – followed by exhibitions on Patrick Heron and Virginia Woolf.


The Art Fund prize is open to all UK museums. Judges look for excellence and innovation, which they also found at the four institutions that were runnerups last night: Brooklands Museum of transport and aviation in Weybridge, the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, London’s Postal Museum, and the Glasgow Women’s Library.


Tate St Ives has numerous exhibitions and events on all year round and is a short walk from our Beachspoke properties in the area, view them here.