Jewish Heritage Europe

POLIN museum wins Museum of the Year award

Photo © Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Photo © Museum of the History of Polish Jews.


Mazel tov to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, which has been named 2016 European Museum of the Year  by the European Museum Forum.

The award was announced Saturday at a ceremony in San Sebastian, Spain.

The Forum operates under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The Museum of the Year award is granted to newly-opened or refurbished museums. POLIN’s elaborate core exhibit, which tells the story of 1000 years of Polish Jewish history, opened in October 2014 in an award-winning building located on the site of the World War II Jewish Ghetto and the main pre-WW2 Jewish quarter.

Here’s a comment from Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, the Chief Curator of the core exhibit, who headed the team of dozens of scholars and others who created it:

We are so honored to be the winner of the European Museum of the Year Award 2016. This award recognizes the POLIN Museum as a whole – its brilliant architecture, compelling core exhibition, its exceptional educational, cultural, and artistic programs, its impact, and the quality that it brings to everything that it does.  

We could not have won this award without our fabulous team past and present – our directors and managers, our academic and curatorial teams, our designers (Event Communications, Nizio Design International, and our multimedia designers), our translators and editors, the many specialists who provided research and advice, and the many institutions who provided material, to mention only the Jewish Historical Institute, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad Vashem, and National Library of Israel. Without our dedicated development team and generous donors, nothing would have been possible.

Warmest congratulations are due the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, which initiated the project in 1993 and joined the City of Warsaw and Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in 2005 to found the museum – a unique private-public partnership for a cultural institution in Poland. The Association created the core exhibition and raised the funds to produce it 

A grand collaboration and wonderful honor!


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