Thursday, August 26, 2010

Taft Museum Receives Highest National Recognition

The Taft Museum of Art has achieved accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public.
AAM Accreditation is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability, and earns national recognition for a museum for its commitment to excellence in all that it does: governance, collections stewardship, public programs, financial stability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 35 years, AAM’s Museum Accreditation program strengthens the profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and to provide the best possible service to the public.
“AAM accreditation is a wonderful endorsement of the Taft,” said Deborah Emont Scott, the Taft’s director/CEO. “It reflects the quality of the Museum’s operations including exhibitions and programs, and recognizes the tremendous undertaking by the Taft’s staff, board, and volunteers on the accreditation project as well as the high quality of their day-to-day work at the Taft. We are especially thrilled by the AAM’s recognition of the Taft’s community outreach efforts, specifically the Duncanson artist-in-residency program, which the AAM highlighted as a noteworthy program for outreach to diverse audiences.”
Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 775 are currently accredited. Among those institutions are 316 art museums and centers, with the Taft one of only 26 art museums accredited in Ohio. The only other accredited institutions in Cincinnati are the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
“Accreditation assures the people of Cincinnati that their museum is among the finest in the nation,” said Ford W. Bell, president of AAM. “As a result, the citizens can take considerable pride in their homegrown institution, for its commitment to excellence and for the value it brings to the community.”
Accreditation is a rigorous process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, review and evaluate the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it generally takes three years.
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 15,000 individual, 3,000 institutional, and 300 corporate members, AAM 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