LT. GOV. DARDENNE ANNOUNCES ACCREDITATION
BATON ROUGE, LA. — Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne is announcing the reaccreditation of the Louisiana State Museum by the American Association of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. The Historic New Orleans Collection also received reaccreditation.
“Accreditation signifies quality, accountability and professionalism in all aspects of museum operations,” Lt. Governor Dardenne said. “Louisiana can be proud of these great institutions. We congratulate the boards and staff of the Louisiana State Museum and The Historic New Orleans Collection for once again meeting the rigorous standards of the AAM.”
“Accreditation is emblematic of an institution’s commitment to public service and to overall excellence,” AAM President Ford Bell said. “Attaining accreditation involves taking a hard look at yourself, allowing your peers in the field to do the same, and being judged to be superior in all areas. The people of Louisiana can take great pride in the fact that both the Louisiana State Museum and The Historic New Orleans Collection are ranked among America’s premier museums.”
Initially accredited in 1976, the Louisiana State Museum was subsequently accredited every 10 years until 2005 when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita disrupted the meticulous process of self-study and professional peer review required by AAM.
“The Museum’s staff made truly heroic efforts to safeguard the art, artifacts and historic buildings in our collection from damage by the storms,” Louisiana State Museum board chairwoman Rosemary Ewing said. “Accreditation was postponed during a period of crisis and recovery, but it makes today’s award from the AAM all the more meaningful.”
The Historic New Orleans Collection was initially accredited in 1978 and subsequently accredited thereafter. “Accreditation gives us the credibility to stand as a thriving cultural institution—a partner in raising the quality of life for all citizens,” Priscilla Lawrence, director of The Historic New Orleans Collection, said.
Fred Smith, president of The Historic New Orleans Collection board of directors said, “Since its founding by philanthropists and collectors Leila and Kemper Williams in 1966, The Historic New Orleans Collection has been unwavering in its dedication to preserving our rich cultural heritage while becoming relevant in an ever-changing world. We are proud to be recognized for our standards and attribute this award to the vision, knowledge and dedication of the outstanding staff and board of The Collection.”
The American Association of Museums accredits only 775 of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums. The Louisiana State Museum and The Historic New Orleans Collection are among 12 museums in the state and five in New Orleans to be accredited. Other local accredited museums include Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses, Longue Vue House and Gardens and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Founded in 1906, The American Association of Museums develops standards and best practices for its 3,000 institutional members and advocates on behalf of the nationwide museum community.
Also founded in 1906, the Louisiana State Museum’s collection now totals more than 450,000 artifacts and works of art. These provide an authentic experience of Louisiana to visitors from around the world while enhancing the quality of life for residents. Properties include a complex of seven historic buildings in the French Quarter and a statewide system of regional museums in Baton Rouge, Thibodaux, Patterson and Winnfield.
Founded in 1966, The Historic New Orleans Collection also occupies a number of early buildings in the Vieux Carré. The collections consist of several hundred thousand artworks, photographs and manuscripts documenting the history of New Orleans and the Gulf South that are made available to the public through the Williams Research Center, exhibitions, and publications. For more information, visit www.hnoc.org or call 504.523.4662.