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Albany art museum earns accreditation

Crystal Morrison, director of outreach and community relations for the Albany Museum of Art, conducts the Traveling Trunk Outreach Program at International Studies Elementary Charter School in Albany.

Crystal Morrison, director of outreach and community relations for the Albany Museum of Art, conducts the Traveling Trunk Outreach Program at International Studies Elementary Charter School in Albany.

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While the Albany Museum of Art’s roots go back to the 1960s, it has occupied the museum building at 311 Meadowlark Drive, beside Darton College, since 1983.

ALBANY MUSEUM OF ART

Location: 311 Meadowlark Drive, adjacent to Darton College

Hours of operation: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Days of operation: Tuesdays-Saturdays

Admission: Free

Contact: (229) 439-8400

Website: www.albanymuseum....

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This portrait of Lillian Carter was created by Andy Warhol for the Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Campaign. This work is part of the Albany Museum of Art’s collection and is currently on display.

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Young participants in the Albany Museum of Art's february 2012 Family Day find an outlet for their creativity.

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Sowei Mask from West Africal

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Crystal Morrison, director of outreach and community relations for the Albany Museum of Art, conducts the Traveling Trunk Outreach Program at International Studies Elementary Charter School in Albany.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany Museum of Art will continue to enjoy some elite company after it earned reaccreditation from the American Association of Museums.

"We're really excited about it," AMA Executive Director Nick Nelson said Friday. "It's a big honor."

The association, which has been in existence for 106 years, examines all the aspects of a museum's operations in determining which facilities it will accredit. The process generally takes about three years, with the museum conducting a year-long self-study followed by a site visit by peer reviewers.

The association's Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous group of museum professionals, then reviews and evaluates the self-study, along with the peer group's report, to determine whether the museum should be given the association's seal of approval.

With an estimated 17,500 museums in the United States, only 775 are currently accredited by the AAM, about 4.4 percent. In Georgia, the Albany art museum is one of 15 AAM-accredited institutions.

"Living up to the standard of accreditation at a museum is an ongoing process," Nelson said. "We've been doing it for a long time.

"It's not something you do in three years. It's keeping up with the latest in what museums are doing, how we handle our collections. Everybody on the board and staff has been working on it."

The American Association of Museums looks at a number of areas in making its determination -- public trust and accountability; mission and planning; leadership and organizational structure; collections stewardship; education and interpretation; financial stability, and facilities and risk management.

"Accreditation assures the people of Albany that their museum is among the finest in the nation," AAM President Ford W. Bell said. "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."

The Albany Museum of Art, which has been in operation at its present facility for 29 years, has been accredited by the AAM since 1992. It houses a collection that includes 19th and 20th century American and European art and a substantial collection of sub-Saharan African art that includes masks, sculpture, pottery, textiles and musical instruments.

In addition, the museum hosts a number of visiting exhibits. In the past year, the museum has hosted exhibits of artwork by local physicians that also included an original drawing of "Before the Shot" by Norman Rockwell; folk art by St. EOM (Eddie Owens Martin); works of the mysterious 18th century Japanese artist Sharaku, and rare portraits and prints of 19th century Native Americans in the Indian Gallery of Henry Inman.

It also has hosted family and activity days for area residents, various speakers, the annual Shades of Gold show by members of the SOWEGA Council on Aging, and an exhibit in which visitors to the museum contributed to a community-created mural.

"This award not only demonstrates that the Albany Museum of Art is committed to excellence in its programs, operations and exhibitions, it also represents an extraordinary effort by the museum's staff and Board of Trustees," Nelson observed. "The reaccreditation bid has been years in the making ... It validates what our staff, board, members and supporters have always known -- that the AMA is a terrific museum. We are so proud and happy to share this honor with the community."

Located at 311 Meadowlark Drive, the Albany Museum of Art is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.