Springfield Museums celebrate reaccreditation by national museums association
It is a "stamp of approval," said the Museums' president
There was a celebration today at the Springfield Museums to honor national recognition by the institution’s peers.
Calling it the “gold standard” for measuring a museum’s overall excellence, Springfield Museums President Kay Simpson announced Friday that the organization had earned a 10-year reaccreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.
“It places the Springfield Museums among the most prestigious institutions in America,” Simpson said.
Just roughly 1,100 of the approximately 33,000 museums in the country are accredited by the Washington, D.C. - based association. It puts the Springfield Museums in the same company as the Smithsonian Institution, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
The designation assures that the Springfield Museums are committed to excellence, the highest professional standards, public service, and are financially stable, said Simpson.
“I think it signifies to the public that we have met the highest standards in the field,” she said. “It’s a stamp of approval.”
It also sends a credible message to potential museum funders and elected officials, several of whom were present for Friday’s announcement and reception in a gallery of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts – one of the organization’s five museums located on the Quadrangle in downtown Springfield.
Other benefits of accreditation can include improved relations with other museums that can result in more loaned collections and traveling exhibits coming to Springfield, said officials.
The process to win reaccreditation was arduous and took about a year, said Simpson.
“We had to first apply with a written application, followed by a multi-day site visit with peer reviewers that took our staff months-and-months to prepare for,” she said.
Praising the museums’ reaccreditation at Friday’s event was Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Richard Neal.
“When you consider the amount of people that visit these institutions, the investments they make, and the goodwill they take away, it is quite stunning,” Neal said.
A recent report from local tourism officials said the Springfield Museums contribute an estimated $22 million annually to the economy of western Massachusetts.
Since last July, the number of visitors to the museums has matched pre-pandemic levels, according to Simpson.