Forrest Scene

August 2012 News Releases

Mulvane Art Museum receives highest national recognition

The Mulvane Art Museum has again achieved accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum.  

  • The Mulvane Art Museum was initially accredited in 1988, evidence of the Museum’s long-standing record of excellence.
  • The Mulvane Art Museum is one of only 12 museums accredited in Kansas. 
  • All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status. 
  • Of the nation’s nearly 17,500 museums approximately 779 are accredited.

Benefits of accreditation:

  • Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies and to the museum-going public. 
  • 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.

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 and 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 much as three years.

By receiving re-accreditation, the Mulvane Art Museum has confirmed something the faculty, staff and students of Washburn University and the people of Topeka likely already knew:  it is one of the truly outstanding museums in America, according to Cindi Morrison, director of the Mulvane.    

“The museum has demonstrated its commitment to excellence in everything it does:  in its governance, public programs, strategic and financial planning, collections stewardship and overall operations,” she said.  Morrison also noted the elite group of accredited museums includes well-known institutions such as The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; the Field Museum in Chicago; and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

The Mulvane Art Museum, ArtLab and gift shop are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free. The museum is closed major holidays.  

The Mulvane is located on the campus of Washburn University, at 17th and Jewell Streets.  Free parking is available directly to the west of the Museum. Call 785,670,1124 or go to    

The American Association 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  


Dena Anson, university relations, (785) 670-1711