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George Eastman House receives highest national recognition

Awarded Reaccreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

Rochester, N.Y., July 17, 2014—George Eastman House has achieved reaccreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). The highest national recognition for a museum, accreditation signifies an institution’s excellence to the museum community, governments, funders, outside agencies, and the public. Out of the more than 35,000 museums in the country, George Eastman House is a part of the three percent that are accredited.

George Eastman House was initially accredited in 2004 by AAM. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every ten years to maintain accredited status. AAM 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 35 years, AAM’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.

In addition, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has elected Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director of George Eastman House, to active membership. AAMD represents a select group of directors of the largest museums throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Eligibility pertains to the purpose, size, and standards of operation of an art museum, and it is also based on the qualifications of both the individual director and the specific museum.

“I am extremely proud of our staff, volunteers, and trustees at George Eastman House, and I know that this reaccreditation could not have happened without the hard work, passion, and dedication to this institution from every one of them,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman House. “Being reaccredited by AAM and becoming a member of AAMD solidifies George Eastman House’s reputation as an asset not only in Rochester, but also across the country and abroad.”

Accreditation is a 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, before undergoing 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. While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it generally takes as much as three years.

“Accreditation assures the people of Rochester 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.”

About George Eastman House

George Eastman House holds unparalleled collections, totaling more than four million objects, of photographs, motion pictures, cameras and technology, and photographically illustrated books. Established as an independent non-profit institution in 1947, it is the world’s oldest photography museum and third largest film archive in the United States. The museum is in Rochester, NY, and includes the National Historic Landmark house and gardens of George Eastman, the philanthropist and father of popular photography and motion picture film. Learn more at eastmanhouse.org.

About AAM

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 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 www.aam-us.org.

About AAMD

The Association of Art Museum Directors, representing 240 art museum directors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, aids its members in establishing and maintaining the highest professional standards for themselves and the museums they represent.  It serves as a forum for the exchange of information and the exploration of ideas, and as a voice with which museum directors may express their joint perspectives and those of their institutions. Further information about AAMD is available at www.aamd.org.