Frank Gehry’s design for the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

The 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards are the ‘Oscars’ of Museums

In Design, News by Laura Goldstein

LCD Awards 2015 Museum of Modern Art, New York

New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the grande dame of museums, won in two categories; Overall 2015 Leading Culture Destination of the Year and Best Digital Experience. Photo courtesy 2015 LCD Awards

The 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards are the ‘Oscars’ of Museums but how can the judges decide when they’re all Meryl Streep caliber?

At this year’s 2015 Leading Culture Destinations Awards held recently in London, England the most spectacular museums in the world, competed in five categories to celebrate those deemed the most visionary and connecting culture with tourism worldwide: Exhibitions and Programming; Architecture & Spatial Design; Eat and Drink; Shop and Digital Experience and overall winner of Leading Culture Destination of the Year. There are also separate categories for Best Emerging Cultures; Best Art Experience In A Hotel and Best Emerging City for Culture.

These might be the only awards in which set design reins supreme in all categories. New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the grande dame of museums, won in two categories; Overall 2015 Leading Culture Destination of the Year and Best Digital Experience.

There’s no stylist who dresses the stars of the LCD Awards, although Canadian architect, Frank Gehry probably has wardrobe connections as he’s always a pretty dapper dresser. His design for the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, was the winner in the Architecture & Spatial Design Category.

LCD Awards 2015 La Colombe dOr

Hotel, La Colombe d’Or, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, winner, Travellers Award for Best Art Experience In A Hotel. Its private collection of spectacular art (ceramic mural by Fernand Leger above) is as inspiring as the famous guests who have stayed and dined there.

Hotel, La Colombe d’Or, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France,  winner, Travellers Award for Best Art Experience In A Hotel, has a fascinating history. Welcoming famous guests since the 1930s like Simone Signoret and Yves Montand, Miro, Chagall and Picasso, its collections by Matisse, Picasso and Leger’s ceramics mural over the terrace, adorn the hideaway. And with a Calder sculpture by the pool, one barely has time to visit museums.  But I digress…

Toronto’s hip Victorian Gladstone Boutique Hotel was short-listed in the same category for its 37 rooms transformed by Canadian artists and designers.

All winners were carefully selected from a long list of nominations culled from professional ‘global ambassadors ‘ from around the world who are voracious in their dedication and support of arts, culture and innovation. Then, an international panel of judges from the arts and culture cognoscenti had the very difficult task of choosing the crème de la crème.

Florian Wupperfeld, Co-founder of Leading Culture Destinations, said:  “We are thrilled to announce the winners to the second edition of the Leading Culture Destinations Awards. London, Paris and New York might be world leaders in museums and cultural institutions, but a growing number of cities in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America are starting to provide serious competition.”

The LCD points out that the three most-attended art exhibitions of 2013 were not in Europe or North America, but in Taipei and Rio de Janeiro and that China will open 2,000 museums over the next 5 years!

LCD Awards 2015 Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de MÇrida

LCD awarded Best Emerging Culture Destination in Central & South America to Gran Museo del Mundo Maya in Merida, Mexico. Photo courtesy 2015 LCD Awards.

The winner of Best Emerging Culture of the Year in Asia, is the Oita Prefectural Art Museum in Oita, Japan. It’s
   described as a museum of the ‘five senses and encounters’ wrapped in a façade resembling woven bamboo, and designed by architect, Shigeru Ban.

The unexpected destination of Merida, Mexico is the location of the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya with its interior ‘Mayamax’ theater. Designed by 4A Arquitectos, the Museum is covered in the symbolic roots of a sacred tree in the Mayan culture. LCD awarded it Best Emerging Culture Destination in Central & South America.

Andy Warhol was on to something when he said, “All department stores will become museums, and all museums will become department stores.”

The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, won for Best Museum Shop and their tie-in merchandising (these were no ordinary tchotchkes,) for the record-breaking 2015 ‘Savage Beauty’ Alexander McQueen Exhibition, received a special mention.

And not to be forgotten in their best supporting roles: A shout -out to short-listed, Design Museum Holon, in Holon, Israel. Designed by Israeli architect and industrial designer, Ron Arad, the Museum is composed of six weathered red ribbons of multi-level Cor-Ten steel. The Design Museum Holon has been a vital catalyst in transforming the city into a cultural and educational epicenter attracting exhibitions and tourism from around the world.

Holon Design Museum- Yael Pincus

Holon Design Museum, Holon, Israel designed by Ron Arad was shortlisted for the LCD Awards in the category of Best Emerging Culture Destinations in the Middle East. Photo: Yael Pincus

TOP PHOTO: Canadian architect, Frank Gehry’s design for the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, was the winner in the LCD Awards Architecture & Spatial Design Category.

Complete list of winners and judges from the 2015 Leading Culture Destination Awards: LCD Awards Website