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AAM Announces Latest Accreditation Awards: 21 Museums Receive this High Honor

Category: Press Release

For Immediate Release

Arlington, VA – The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community, today announced 21 reaccreditation awards made at the February 2021 meeting of the Accreditation Commission. Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, 1,084 are currently accredited.

Through a rigorous process of self-assessment and review by their peers, these museums have demonstrated they meet standards and best practices, and are educational entities that are appropriate stewards of the collections and resources they hold in the public trust.

Recognized as the field’s gold standard for museum excellence for 50 years, AAM accreditation signifies a museum’s quality and credibility to the entire museum community, to governments and outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The Accreditation Program 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.

The following museums were reaccredited:

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, Auburn, IN

Chemung County Historical Society, Elmira, NY

Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria, OR

Dumbarton House, Washington, DC

Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center, Rockland, ME

Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, Chicago, IL

Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, VA

Holden Forest & Gardens (Holden Arboretum, Kirtland, OH & Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland, OH)

Kansas Museum of History, Topeka, KS

Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY

Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Orange County Regional History Center, Orlando, FL

Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara, CA

Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA

Tenement Museum, New York, NY

The Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

The Grace Museum, Abilene, TX

The Wolfsonian, Florida International University, Miami Beach, FL

Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA

“You’ll see in this group of awardees art, history, anthropology, science, and specialized museums, as well as public gardens and historic homes. This shows the diversity in types of organizations that are accredited, and that of the museum field,” said Evans Richardson, Accreditation Commission Chair. “I want to recognize their resilience and commitment to excellence as they continued ahead and completed their reaccreditation review during the pandemic year, including most having a virtual visit.”

“The Accreditation program is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in a year that continues to be marked by constant disruptions and uncertainty,” said Laura Lott, AAM President and CEO. “The museums, of all types and sizes across the country, earning reaccreditation have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to excellence during times of great challenge.”

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 which produces a report for the Accreditation Commission. The Commission uses these materials and its collective expertise to determine whether to grant accreditation.

Read more about the Alliance’s Accreditation program.


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


Press Contact:
Natanya Khashan


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