FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2017
Arlington, VA – The American Alliance of Museums has announced that three museums were newly accredited and 21 museums earned reaccreditation at the October 2017 meeting of the Accreditation Commission.
Through a rigorous process of self-assessment and review by their peers, these museums have demonstrated they meet standards and best practices and shown themselves to be core educational entities that are good stewards of the collections and resources they hold in the public trust.
As the ultimate mark of distinction in the museum field, accreditation signifies excellence and credibility to the entire museum community, to governments and outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability. Accreditation helps to ensure the integrity and accessibility of museum collections, reinforce the educational and public service roles of museums, and promote good governance practices and ethical behavior.
“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”
The following museums were awarded accreditation. First-time awards are indicated with an asterisk:
- Anniston Museum of Natural History, Anniston, AL
- Art, Design & Architecture Museum – University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
- Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
- Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
- Contemporary Art Museum University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
- El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX
- Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
- Gregory Allicar Museum of Art – Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO*
- Hermitage Museum & Gardens, Norfolk, VA*
- Historic New England, Boston, MA
- Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield, CT
- Mahoning Valley Historical Society & the Arms Family Museum of Local History, Youngstown, OH
- Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art – Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL
- Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
- Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
- New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo, NM
- Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, OH*
- Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, OH
- San Bernardino County Museum, Redlands, CA
- San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, CA
- University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA
- Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, 1,075 are currently accredited. To earn accreditation a museum submits a self-study questionnaire and key operational documents for evaluation, then undergoes a site visit by a two-person team of peer reviewers. The Accreditation Commission considers these results to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.
The October meeting was the last for outgoing Accreditation Commission Chair Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection in Columbus. Logan has served two terms as commission chair, starting in 2012. “On behalf of the Alliance, I salute Burt Logan and thank him for his leadership over the past six years,” said Alliance Board Chair Douglas Jones, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. “He served as chair during the reinvention of our accreditation, which significantly streamlined the process. Burt also introduced the commission’s new nominating process, opening it up to the field and making it more transparent and inclusive.”
Amy Bartow-Melia will serve as the next chair of the Accreditation Commission for a three-year term starting in January 2018. Bartow-Melia is the MacMillan Associate Director for Audience Engagement at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, where she has been engaged in various education and public programming positions since 1997. She has been serving on the commission since 2015.
For more information about the Alliance and the Accreditation Program, visit www.aam-us.org.
About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.