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Leighton House

Leighton House shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023

Leighton House has been shortlisted for the world’s largest museum prize, with the chance to win £120,000

Art Fund Museum of the Year

Leighton House has been selected as one of five finalists for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023, the world’s largest museum prize.  All shortlisted museums demonstrate transformational impact, redeveloping their offers with diverse and inspiring stories at their heart, and shaping the response to vital issues of today.


Celebrating Leighton House

The former studio-home of leading Victorian artist, Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), Leighton House has been recognised for the transformational Hidden Gem to National Treasure redevelopment, which saw the museum reopen in October 2022 following a sensitive restoration, including painstaking, ongoing research to recover and recreate Leighton’s original collection.


Going beyond the presentation of the home of a Victorian painter to explore broader themes of identity and cultural interaction, the museum has also been recognised for its inspiring collaborations with contemporary artists, makers and creatives to produce works and experiences which resonate with the influences of the house and connect with wider audiences. From bespoke hand-crafted furniture by displaced Syrian artisans, to Shahrzad Ghaffari's Oneness mural, Anhaar by Sara Choudhrey, Nour Hage's Kheit,  Maya Youssef's musical qanun commission,  and countless other partnerships, the museum continues Frederic Leighton's celebration of the wider world.


Watch the video


New reception area at Leighton House. Image Dirk Lindner.

We are all thrilled to be on the shortlist for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023; to have our transformational project recognised in this way means so much to all our staff, volunteers and supporters. The public reaction since reopening has been fantastic and we are determined to continue reinventing what a house museum can be.
Daniel Robbins, Senior Curator

We are in amazing company with four other shortlisted museums; The Burrell Collection (Glasgow); The MAC (Belfast); Natural History Museum (London); Scapa Flow Museum (Orkney). Congratulations to all of them!


The winning museum will be announced at a ceremony at the British Museum in London on 12 July and will receive £120,000, specially increased for 2023 and beyond to mark 120 years of Art Fund supporting museums. £15,000 will be given to each of the four other finalists – bringing the total prize money to £180,000.


The 2023 judging panel, chaired by Art Fund director Jenny Waldman, includes: Larry Achiampong, artist; Mary Beard, historian and broadcaster; Abadesi Osunsade, Art Fund Trustee, author and owner of Hustle Crew, and Laura Pye, Director, National Museums Liverpool. 


Some of the museum's team members celebrating the annoucement

Celebrate with us

We are incredibly grateful to all of our supporters, partners, creatives, volunteers, staff, and everyone who has visited and joined in to make Leighton House such a joyous celebration of "oneness". Please join us in celebrating this wonderful news with...


Sketch in the Studio

Join us for a celebratory series of 'Sketch in the Studio' sessions led by the dynamic Duo Eunoia. The drop-in sessions are open to all and included within entry tickets to Leighton House (free entry with National Art Pass).
Saturday 27 May, 1:30pm-2:30pm
Sunday 28 May, 12:30pm-1:30pm
Plan your visit


Paint Pasha Peacock

Get creative from home like Frederic Leighton and send us your colourful versions of Pasha peacock for the chance to join a selection on display in the Leighton House Learning Centre, social media and on our website. Whether you live near or far, get involved by picking up a colouring sheet at Leighton House, or downloading and printing your own.


Follow our journey

Enjoy free entry to Leighton House and Sambourne House, as well as all five venues shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023 with National Art Pass.

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Follow along with our #museumoftheyear journey on social media
Instagram: @leightonsambournemuseums
Twitter: @LeightonHouse_
Facebook: @LeightonHouse 
Pinterest: @leightonsambournemuseums
LinkedIn: @leightonhouseandsambournehousemuseums


Oneness at Leighton House. Image Janie Airey