Poughkeepsie, NY (November 11, 2020) – The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The Art Center was initially accredited in 2004. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.
Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.
“Accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums affirms the vitality and vibrancy of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, which is renowned for the quality of the collections, the distinctive programs, and the professionalism of its staff,” says T. Barton Thurber, the Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Art Center. “It also is an important recognition of our recent efforts to diversify activities and to expand public engagement with the aim of strengthening the Art Center's impact on the Vassar campus and throughout the broader community.”
Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, over 1070 are currently accredited. The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is one of only 78 museums accredited in New York State, and one of just 13 to receive reaccreditation in the most recent round of awards; read AAM’s announcement here.
Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.
“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”
About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building's primary donor, opened in 1993. Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with an art museum as a part of its original plans, and at any given time, the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Art Center feature approximately 350 works from Vassar's extensive collections. The Art Center's collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 22,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college's inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American 20th-century painters.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is located at 124 Ramond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY. Admission to the Art Center is free and open to all. All galleries are wheelchair accessible. The Art Center is currently open to the public Saturdays 10:00am–5:00pm and Sundays 1:00–5:00pm; hours are subject to change depending on New York State and Vassar College health and safety guidelines for COVID-19. For additional information, the public may call (845) 437-5632 or visit fllac.vassar.edu.
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. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.