Alliance Announces 10 Newly Accredited Museums and 13 Museums Re-Accredited

Emblematic of Institutions’ Commitment to Excellence

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 2013 – The American Alliance of Museums (the Alliance) has announced that 10 museums have been newly accredited and 13 museums earned re-accreditation at the November 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 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 Kalamazoo Valley Museum in Michigan, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia, the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in California and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico—the second museum on the island to be accredited. Significant buildings such as the Rockefeller estate Kykuit at the Pocantico Center and the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Zimmerman House owned by the Currier Art Museum are included. The Office of Historic Alexandria, a museum system, is celebrating having its entire system of eight museums accredited for the first time whereas only three sites were accredited before.

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. Alliance 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, Alliance president. “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 accredits are indicated with an asterisk:

  • Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire
    • The Zimmerman House
  • Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, North Carolina
  • Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Walnut Creek, California
  • Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois*
  • Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan*
  • National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia*
  • New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, Albuquerque
  • Office of Historic Alexandria, Alexandria, Virginia*
    • Alexandria Archaeology Museum*
    • Alexandria Black History Museum *
    • African American Heritage Park *
    • Fort Ward
    • Friendship Firehouse Museum*
    • Gadsby's Tavern
    • The Lyceum
    • Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum*
  • Pocantico Center, Tarrytown, New York*
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami
  • Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Manitowoc
  • Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne           

Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, almost 1,000 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 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. 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. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

Media Contact

Dewey Blanton
Alliance Communications
202-218-7704