For Immediate Release
DAR Museum Receives Highest National Recognition
Awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Association of Museums
WASHINGTON, DC – The Daughters of the American Revolution Museum has again achieved accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, governments, funders, outside agencies and the museum-going public. DAR Museum was initially accredited in 1974. All museums must undergo a re-accreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.
“It is an honor that the dedication of our DAR Museum staff and member volunteers to provide a high quality cultural institution has once again been recognized with reaccreditation from the American Association of Museums,” said DAR President General Merry Ann Wright. “As one of only a few historical decorative arts museums in Washington, D.C., we are proud of the outstanding exhibitions and programming that we offer to the community and visitors to our Nation’s capital.”
Founded in 1890, the DAR Museum collection has grown to feature more than 30,000 examples of decorative and fine arts. The collection includes furniture, silver, paintings, ceramics, quilts and costumes, reflecting the artistry and craftsmanship of America prior to the Industrial Revolution. These objects are showcased in the museum’s main gallery as well as in 31 period rooms depicting scenes from early American life which are located around the organization’s National Historic Landmark headquarters building in downtown Washington, D.C.
Re-accreditation signifies that a museum meets and often exceeds the standards and best practices of the museum field. The DAR Museum is one of 779 accredited museums in the United States. Only 4.5% of the estimated 17,500 museums in the country are accredited.
“Accreditation is emblematic of a museum's overall excellence and its commitment to public service," said AAM president Ford W. Bell. "In a city of great museums, the DAR Museum ranks as one of the finest. Moreover, AAM accreditation marks the DAR as one of the best museums in the country."
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.
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, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, consider 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 long as three years.
Visitors to the DAR Museum can enjoy its period rooms which are on display to the public year-round. Rotating exhibitions are presented two times a year in the main gallery. Through February 26, 2011, visitors can enjoy the current exhibition, “‘A True North Britain’: The Furniture of John Shearer, 1790-1820.” The exquisitely detailed furniture of craftsman John Shearer is noted not only for its form but also for the politically charged symbols inlaid in many pieces. The furniture helps to explore early America’s cultural ties to Great Britain during the most contentious period in the two nations’ shared history.
The DAR Museum collection features more than 30,000 examples of decorative and fine arts, including objects made or used in America prior to the Industrial Revolution. Furniture, silver, paintings, ceramics and textiles, such as quilts and costumes, are exhibited in 31 period rooms and two galleries. The main gallery features changing exhibitions and displays of selected quilts, coverlets and samplers. The DAR Museum Shop offers a variety of unique gifts and books. The DAR Museum, located at 1776 D Street NW, is free to the public and open 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday and 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Docent tours of the period rooms are offered from 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Monday - Friday and 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday. The DAR Museum is closed Sundays, Federal holidays, and for one week during the DAR annual meeting in July. For information on the DAR Museum, visit www.dar.org/museum or call (202) 879-3241 to schedule a group tour.