Apollo Magazine

Museum Opening of the Year

Apollo Awards 2017: Museum Opening of the Year Shortlist

Emery Walker’s House


The best-preserved Arts & Crafts interior in Britain reopened after an 18-month restoration (as part of the wider Arts & Crafts Hammersmith project, which cost just shy of £1 million) that has ensured its preservation for future generations. While the house was closed, more than 6,000 objects were conserved and catalogued.

The dining room at Emery Walker’s House. Image courtesy The Emery Walker Trust

Freer Gallery of Art, Freer|Sackler

Washington, D.C.

The Freer’s complete refurbishment has returned the displays, including the Asian art holdings, to something more faithful to Charles Lang Freer’s founding aesthetic, while also modernising the gallery’s infrastructure.

Installation view of the newly reopened galleries. Image courtesy the Freer|Sackler Museums of Asian Art

Musée d’arts de Nantes

Nantes, France

The former Musée de Beaux-Arts reopened following a six-year renovation and expansion project led by Stanton Williams architects. The original building has been renovated and new galleries for modern and contemporary art added, along with a subterranean auditorium and education centre.

Main staircase in the 19th-century Palais of the Musée d’arts de Nantes. Photo: © Hufton + Crow

Musée Camille Claudel

Nogent-sur-Seine, France

Dedicated to the French sculptor, who lived in the building as a child, this museum displays the largest public collection of Claudel’s works in 15 new galleries designed by Adelfo Scaranello architects. Works by her contemporaries are also on show.

Musée Camille Claudel à Nogent-sur-Seine. Photo: Marco Illuminati

National Gallery of Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

The historic Milltown and Dargan wings have been fully refurbished to modern museum standards as part of a €25 million restoration project, with a new courtyard linking the wings. The reopening coincided with the exhibition ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting’.

View of the entrance and façade of the National Gallery of Ireland, 2017. Photo: © National Gallery of Ireland


Cape Town, South Africa

‘Africa’s Tate Modern’ opened in Cape Town in September in a former grain silo converted by Thomas Heatherwick. The museum displays works by artists from Africa and the African diaspora from the collection of Jochen Zeitz.

Zeitz MOCAA, designed by Heatherwick Studios. Photo: Iwan Baan

The Shortlists | Acquisition of the Year | Artist of the Year | Book of the Year | Digital Innovation of the Year | Exhibition of the Year