T he application is submitted online via a dedicated site. The site is designed to allow applicants the freedom to express their idea to its fullest, but also to capture all the necessary information that will allow the jurors to make an informed and balanced assessment.
Applicants have four months to complete their application, which is divided into three main sections.
Firstly, applicants are asked to provide a summary of the exhibition, including details of its subject, focus, themes, aims, and what contribution it can make to both the field and the institution's community.
“The application process helped us crystallise our messaging and created an impetus for us to consider the exhibition’s wider context.”Dr. Xavier Bray, director of the Wallace Collection, which received a Sotheby’s Prize commendation in 2018
Secondly, they are asked to provide information about the status of the exhibition, detailing how far along it is in the planning and realization. If it is at the research or planning stage, applicants are asked to provide a proposed project timeline.
Thirdly, applicants are asked to provide details of the exhibition’s financing, including high-level information about anticipated and secured funding, and a detailed budget of what the exhibition will cost. This allows the jurors to assess the viability of the project, and to understand what impact the Prize funding would have.
In addition to these three sections, applicants are required to include a letter of support from the director of the institution staging the exhibition. The most impactful are those that provide some context and indicate how this particular exhibition sits within the institution’s mission and values.
To support their proposal, and to aid the jurors in their assessment, applicants are asked to provide at-a-glance summary information on the size and scope of the exhibition by providing detail on the number of works to be included, the square footage and the proportion of the institution space it will take up, as well as anticipated opening and closing dates. We also request details of the exhibition catalogue, including the authors and titles of essays.
Finally, we provide space to include images of works that represent the vision and/or status of the exhibition.