As societies are increasingly openly conflicted, politicized and polarized, the obligations grow correspondingly 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 - that give space for or voice to contested and silenced stories.


The Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity is named in honour of the irreverent and critical perspective of Kenneth Hudson, the founder of EMYA, and is given by the European Museum Forum board to a museum, a group or an individual – not necessarily an EMYA candidate - to celebrate courageous, at times controversial, museum practices that challenge and expand common perceptions of the role and responsibilities of museums in society.

2023: 23,5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory
Istanbul, Türkiye

Photo credit: “Salt and Light” installation created by Sarkis based on the metaphor of “creating diamonds from pain” © 23,5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory

For more information: EMYA2023 Winners Brochure


2022: Wayne Modest, Nanette Snoep, Laura van Broekhoven and Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

© Estonian National Museum

The Kenneth Hudson Award 2022 is given jointly to four individuals, who as scholars and as museum directors actively contribute towards developing a new, global ethics for museums. With a good deal of personal courage, they have welcomed these highly contested and politicized questions and embedded them solidly in their museum practices, giving space for and voice to points of view that have been continuously and systematically denied. The European Museum Forum is of course aware that behind, beside and with these four individuals stand a multitude of others, not least in other continents and in the diasporic communities in Europe, but also in other European museums. So let the bestowal of this Kenneth Hudson Award be symbolic and emblematic.

For more information: EMYA2022 Winners Brochure  


2021: CosmoCaixa
Barcelona, Spain

Museum Architecture © CosmoCaixa


2020: House of Austrian History
Vienna, Austria

Visual and acoustic voices in four languages at the beginning of the museum’s main exhibition © House of Austrian History 


2019: World Museum Vienna
Vienna, Austria

2018: Estonian National Museum
Tartu, Estonia

2017: Museum of the First President of Russia Boris Yeltsin
Yekaterinburg, Russia

2016: Micropia
Amsterdam, Netherlands

2015: International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum
Geneva, Switzerland

2014: Zanis Lipke Memorial
Riga, Latvia

2013: Batalha Municipal Community Museum
Batalha, Portugal

2012: Glasnevin Museum
Dublin, Ireland

2011: Museum of Broken Relationships
Zagreb, Croatia

2010: Museum of Contraception and Abortion
Vienna, Austria

Kenneth Hudson