AAM Announces Three Newly Accredited Museums and 13 Re-Accredited Museums

Emblematic of Institutions’ Commitment to Excellence

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 2012 – The American Alliance of Museums (the Alliance) has announced that three museums have been newly accredited and 13 museums earned re-accreditation at the July 2012 meeting of the Accreditation Commission. Accredited status from the Alliance is the highest national recognition achievable by an American museum.

Accreditation recognizes high standards in individual museums and ensures that museums continue to uphold their public trust. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 40 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. 

This group of accredited museums is representative of the breadth and scope of America’s museums, encompassing all types and sizes of institutions and every region of the country. It includes such diverse institutions as the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Connecticut, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and the Loveland Museum/Gallery in Colorado. Half of the newly accredited museums are connected with colleges or universities.  Three of the museums feature creative reuse projects for older buildings- a train station (Cincinnati Museum Center), prison (the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Sugarland facility) and a former mental hospital­ (Kennedy Museum of Art).

The Characteristics of Excellence are the standards towards which all museums can and should strive to achieve in ways appropriate to their resources. To best serve their communities, it is essential that museums be committed to institutional improvement, maintaining the highest standards in collections stewardship, governance, institutional planning, ethics, education and interpretation, and risk management. AAM accreditation signifies excellence and accountability to the entire museum community, to governments and outside agencies and to the museum-going public.

“Accredited museums have met and exceeded the highest standards of the museum field, in everything they do,” said Ford W. Bell, AAM president. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

The newest to join the distinguished list of accredited institutions are:

  • Cincinnati Museum Center, Ohio
  • Kennedy Museum of Art, Athens, Ohio
  • Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City

The following museums were awarded subsequent accreditation:

  • Ella Sharp Museum of Art and History, Jackson, Michigan
  • Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee
  • Georgia Museum of Art, Athens
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford, Connecticut
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science, (including the George Observatory and HMNS at Sugarland)
  • Loveland Museum/Gallery, Loveland, Colorado
  • Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Flordia
  • Mingei International Museum, San Diego
  • Mulvane Art Museum, Topeka, Kansas
  • Muscarelle Museum of Art at The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York
  • Springfield Museum of Art, Ohio
  • Tampa Museum of Art, Florida

Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 781 are currently accredited. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a two-person team of peers. The Accreditation Commission, an autonomous body of museum professionals appointed by the Alliance Board, considers the self-study and site visit report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

For more information about the Alliance and the Accreditation Program, including a complete list of accredited museums, please visit www.aam-us.org.

About the Alliance

The American Alliance of Museums (formerly the American Association 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. With more than 18,000 individual, 3,000 institutional and 300 corporate members, the Alliance is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future.

Media Contacts

Dewey Blanton
Alliance Communications