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Joanna Davis
IU Art Museum

Judith Kirk
Mathers Museum of World Cultures

Last modified: Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Indiana University museums receive national honor

April 14, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Reflecting the prominence of arts and culture on the Indiana University Bloomington campus, two university museums received the honor of re-accreditation from the Association of American Museums (AAM).

Both the Indiana University Art Museum and the William Hammond Mathers Museum of World Cultures are recipients of the award.

"The IU Art Museum is proud of its AAM accreditation, which reflects so well on the quality of its collections, facilities, staff and professional practices," said IU Art Museum Director Heidi Gealt.

"We're very pleased that the Mathers Museum has been recognized again by the AAM," said Geoff Conrad, director of the William Hammond Mathers Museum. "The museum has been continuously accredited by the AAM since the organization initiated the program. This repeated accreditation speaks to the commitment and professionalism of the Mathers Museum staff."

The American Association of Museums has been developing standards and best practices among museums since 1906. It is the only organization representing the entire scope of museums and the professionals and nonpaid staff who work for and with museums. The association currently represents more than 15,000 individuals and 3,000 institutions.

Mathers Museum

Mathers Museum

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Just 776 museums in the country have achieved accreditation, according to the AAM Web site. Although data doesn't exist on exactly how many museums there are in the country, the AAM estimates that only 3 to 4 percent of museums receive accreditation.

Accreditation is a widely recognized seal of approval that brings national recognition to American museums, regardless of their size or location. The accreditation process involves an extensive review, both internally and externally, including one-year of self study, a site visit by two peer reviewers, a commission review of the self study and peer report, and finally a vote by the Accreditation Commission. Since the first museums were accredited in 1971, the AAM Accreditation Program has become a benchmark of a museum's commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.

About the Indiana University Art Museum

Since its establishment in 1941, the Indiana University Art Museum has grown into one of the foremost university art museums in the country. Today, the IU Art Museum's internationally acclaimed collections, ranging from ancient gold jewelry and African masks to paintings by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, include more than 40,000 objects representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history.

The Indiana University Art Museum is located on Seventh Street in the heart of the Bloomington campus. The IU Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m. The Art Museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

About the William Hammond Mathers Museum

The William Hammond Mathers Museum is Indiana University's museum of world cultures. Through its collections, exhibits, and programs, the Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting knowledge of the world's cultures. In all of its activities, the Museum strives to further its audiences' understanding of both the diversity of the world's specific cultures and the underlying unity of cultures as a human phenomenon.

The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is located at 416 N. Indiana Ave., Bloomington, Ind. The Mathers Museum's exhibit hall and store are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The exhibit hall is closed on Mondays, major holidays and during Indiana University semester breaks.