Utah Museum of Fine Arts Receives Highest National Recognition

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Salt Lake City, UT – The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) is pleased to announce it has been granted reaccreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM). Accreditation is the highest national recognition a museum can receive. This reaccreditation coincides with the UMFA’s tenth anniversary of operation in the award-winning Marcia and John Price Museum Building, and is indicative of the museum’s commitment to excellence over the past decade.

About AAM Accreditation

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 40 years, AAM’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary means of quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability. Awarded after a rigorous, multi-year examination process, accreditation recognizes a museum for its commitment to excellence in the areas of governance, collections stewardship, public programs, financial stability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement.

In 1972 the UMFA was the first university museum west of the Mississippi to receive accreditation after the program began in 1971.  Reaccreditation has occurred every ten years, and the Museum began a self-study in 2008 to examine every aspect of its operations in preparation for reaccreditation in 2011.

Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 775 are currently accredited. The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is one of only five accredited museums in Utah, and one of only two accredited museums in Salt Lake City, according the AAM website.

“Accreditation assures the people of Salt Lake City 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 the 10th Anniversary of the Marcia and John Price Museum Building

The UMFA’s reaccreditation coincides with the tenth anniversary of the award-winning Marcia and John Price Museum Building, which officially opened to the public on June 2, 2001.

“Over the past decade it has been a pleasure to see the beautiful UMFA grow in stature and begin to fulfill its promise,” says benefactor Marcia Price. “It has been a privilege to work with the University, the Director, and the fine staff and board to continually meet new goals of excellence.”

Made possible by generous private gifts, including a leadership gift by Ambassador John Price and Mrs. Marcia Price, the 74,000 square-foot building has enabled the UMFA to facilitate meaningful connections between hundreds of thousands of museum visitors and the world of art, making a variety of exhibitions, programs, and collections accessible to Utah’s diverse communities.

  • Special Exhibitions: The UMFA has presented dozens of special exhibitions over the last decade. Among marquee exhibitions are: Rodin: Sculpture from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collection (2001); Dresses for Humanity (2001); Athletes in Antiquity: Works from the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (2002); Edward Hopper and Urban Realism (2003); Travels in Time and Space: The Art of Robert Sabuda (2006); Dream America: Prints by Andy Warhol (2007); Monet to Picasso from the Cleveland Museum of Art (2008); Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art (2009); salt (series premier 2010); and The Smithson Effect (2011). The UMFA will open its next major exhibition, LeConte Stewart: Depression-Era Art, in July 2011.

  • Public Programs: The UMFA serves as a teaching, learning, and research resource for the University of Utah and the broader community, providing engaging public programs to encourage dialogue and discovery. In the last ten years, the UMFA’s public programming reach has grown exponentially. In addition to hosting educational lectures, tours, films, and artist talks on-site, the UMFA created its groundbreaking Art in a Box program in 2004 to provide in-classroom visual arts education to schoolchildren throughout the state. Since its inception, Art in a Box has served over 51,000 students and teachers in Utah.
  • Collections: The Marcia and John Price Museum Building houses the UMFA’s permanent collection of over 18,000 art objects from around the world. The collection, which spans over 5,000 years of human creativity, gives visitors the opportunity to experience different ideas, values, and cultures all year round. In 2010 the UMFA launched a comprehensive database to provide online visitors with access to all objects in the UMFA’s permanent collection (www.collections.umfa.utah.edu).

“We are proud and honored to have received reaccreditation from AAM,” says Gretchen Dietrich, executive director of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. “Appropriately, it was a strenuous process, ensuring we met best practices in the museum field. I am so very optimistic about the future of our wonderful Museum, where we strive to make great art and great ideas come alive for our visitors. With this reaccreditation comes our pledge to uphold the public trust, and continue to be a place where new ways of thinking and seeing captivate and transform.”

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The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is located on the University of Utah campus in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at 410 Campus Center Drive. The UMFA’s mission is to engage visitors in discovering meaningful connections with the artistic expressions of the world’s cultures. General admission is $7 adults, $5 youth and seniors, FREE for U of U students/staff/faculty, UMFA members, higher education students in Utah, and children under six years old. Free admission offered the first Wednesday and third Saturday of each month thanks to the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks Fund. Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Weekends, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays.  For more information call (801) 581-7332 or visit www.umfa.utah.edu.

Contact: Shelbey Peterson
801.585.1306, shelbey.peterson@umfa.utah.edu