We are delighted to announce that Prof. dr. Laura Van Broekhoven, Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, has been awarded the 2022 Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity.
The award was announced at the European Museum of the Year Conference and Annual Award Ceremony, organised by the European Museum Forum (EMF) and hosted by the Estonian National Museum, Tartu, Estonia, from 4-7 May 2022. The main theme of this year’s conference was defined as Museums Addressing Local and Global Issues in and with Their Communities.
The Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity is part of the European Museum of the Year Award scheme, and is given to a museum, a group or an individual, to celebrate courageous, sometimes controversial, museum practices that challenge and expand common perceptions of the role and responsibilities of museums in society. This year there were four joint winners: Laura Van Broekhoven (Pitt Rivers Museum), Wayne Modest (Dutch National Museum of World Cultures), Nanette Snoep (Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum) and Léontine Meijer-Van Mensch (State Ethnographic Collections of Saxony), who were recognised for their 'personal courage and professional integrity in their continuous contributions to developing a new global ethics for museums, addressing the urgent and contentious issues of decolonisation, restitution, reparation and repatriation’.
On receiving the award, Professor Van Broekhoven said: “It’s a great honour to have been awarded the Kenneth Hudson award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity, alongside some of the most inspiring directors in our field. I see this award as a recognition of the great work every member of our team has been developing with the utmost commitment and great joy, alongside the most generous partners who have shared their lived experience and knowledge with us. The past years have been tough and full of hardship for so many, and on so many fronts we are surrounded by crisis. It’s as if this award is a strong ray of sunshine piercing through the skies, urging us on to continue our work with courage, integrity and in radical hope.”
Head of Oxford University’s Gardens, Libraries & Museums, Richard Ovenden said: “Professor Van Broekhoven is one of the leading figures in the museum world, and the important work she has led on, and continues to champion is internationally respected. The Kenneth Hudson Award is highly prestigious, and Professor Van Broekhoven’s work will be greatly strengthened by it. Oxford is fortunate indeed to have her contribute to our understanding of, and engagement with world cultures at this time in our history.”
The European Museum Forum
The European Museum Forum (EMF) is one of the leading organisations in Europe for developing the public quality of European museums, having worked for over 40 years to promote excellence in innovation, encouraging networking and the exchange of ideas and sustainable best practices within the sector. It is committed to the values of citizenship, democracy and human rights. The prestigious European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) scheme was established in 1977 and is an important occasion for promoting innovative approaches in the museum sector across Europe, reflecting the challenges, obligations and opportunities which museums face in the 21st century.
For more information about the 2022 EMYA Awards and winners, see: https://www.europeanforum.museum/en/ and https://emya2022winners.europeanforum.museum.
The Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity
The Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity is named in honour of the founder of the EMYA and is given by the EMF to a museum, a group or an individual, to celebrate courageous, at times controversial, museum practices that challenge and expand common perceptions of the role and responsibilities of museums in society. It acknowledges that as societies are becoming increasingly conflicted, politicised and polarized, it becomes ever more urgent for museums to challenge established truths and mainstream positions, to defy power, to insist on accountability and take transparent and ethical stands – not least pertaining to issues of social justice, giving space for or voice to contested and silenced stories.