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Why does #TurnerPrize have an age limit?

by on December 9, 2015

To be honest I am not that bothered about the Turner Prize.  I have a cool detachment from award ceremonies generally (but don’t get me started on all the professional awards and prizes that get handed out).  But on this blog we have frequently highlighted the odd age limits that seem to get applied to these sorts of awards.  And this one annoyed me, so I am trying to find out why 50 is the age limit.


No reply yet!  But here is what the Turner Prize states on the Tate Website:

The Turner Prize is a contemporary art award set up in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art. 

It is awarded each year to ‘a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding’

So this seems to imply that no-one over 50 could be responsible for a ‘new development’.  Why not?

There is always some ‘but is it art’ debate about the nominations and the winners, and particularly this year with architectural work winning for the first time.  I though it was particularly intriguing given the age cut off for the prize that the BBC quoted one of the winners (Joseph Halligan) as saying:

“I believe that anyone can create art, and art should be for everyone.”

Seems a shame then that The Turner Prize only believes that this applies if you are under fifty.

Anyone up for a campaign to get this changed?

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