The new Art Museum Award is organized by the European Museum Academy (EMA). The Academy is a non-profit foundation dealing with the role of museums in contemporary society, innovations concerning museological philosophy, museographical language and practice. The European Museum Academy functions as a museological think-tank on the practice and future development of museums. In all its activities the Academy searches for excellence in all levels of museum work. The main fields of activities of the European Museum Academy include the judging and awarding of several European museum awards (European Museum Academy Awards) – the new Art Museum Award being the youngest member of the EMA award family. Besides the awards the Academy organizes conferences, prepares publications, implements EU projects and engages in various research and training programmes.
The Academy was established in 2009 by a group of museum professionals and researchers from the university sector, on the tenth anniversary of the death of the distinguished British museologist Kenneth Hudson (1916-1999).