The Museum of Fine Arts has relaunched its local, women's artist prize, naming Cambridge's Wendy Jacob the first winner since 2006. Jacob will receive $10,000 and her work will be featured in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art when it opens Sept. 18.
The MFA had suspended the prize to, according to museum officials, reconsider it and also solidify funding for the award. But that decision angered many observers, including past winners, who said it was a symbol of the museum's lack of interest in local artists.
By reinstalling the prize, named after the late artist Morgan (1903-1999) and first awarded in 1993, the MFA hopes to send a strong message to local artists on the eve of the opening of the Linde Wing, said Edward Saywell, the head of the museum's department of contemporary art.
To that end, the prize has been increased from $5,000 to $10,000.
"We feel we've done everything we can to really raise the prize's profile as we move forward," said Saywell. "From the inception, we felt the artist deserves a greater award. We hope that will increase as time moves on."