Illinois State Museum Receives Highest National Recognition

The Illinois State Museum has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The Illinois State Museum has been accredited since 1972. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.

Alliance 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 over 45 years, the Alliance’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.

“I want to thank and congratulate the dedicated staff at the Illinois State Museum, the Illinois State Museum Board, and supporters of the Museum for all of the efforts put forth as part of the AAM’s reaccreditation process,” said Colleen Callahan, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “We are all committed to continuing and strengthening the Illinois State Museum’s standing as a world-class museum approaching 150 years of telling the Story of Illinois.”

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, over 1,070 are currently accredited.

Accreditation is a very 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 then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

The Illinois State Museum inspires discovery and caring about Illinois’ cultural and natural resources and heritage. The Museum’s extensive collections and research activities provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs that tell the story of the land, life, people, and art of Illinois. The Illinois State Museum is headquartered in Springfield.  ISM facilities are located in Springfield, at the Dickson Mounds Museum near Lewistown, and at the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery in Lockport. For more information on the ISM, go online to www.illinoisstatemuseum.org.

About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance 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. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

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Illinois Legacy Collection on the Road: Art Institute of Chicago

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The Illinois State Museum is pleased that Suellen Rocca’s painting Blue Policeman / Eek, will be on view as part of the Hairy Who? 1966-1969 exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago. Exhibition runs  September 26, 2018–January 6, 2019. Read more here.

Hairy Who? 1966–1969 is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Suellen Rocca (American, b. 1943), Blue Policeman / Eek, c.1966, oil on canvas, 16 x 12″, Illinois Legacy Collection, Gift of Chuck Thurow, 2016.21.069.

 

Welcoming New Staff

The Illinois State Museum is thrilled to announce the addition of two new staff members: Erika Holst and Tracy Pierceall. Erika and Tracy have already begun working on the upcoming Illinois Legacy Collection Bicentennial exhibition as well as other projects. If you see them at the Museum, please say hello.

Erika Holst, Curator of Decorative Arts

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Erika Holst has previously worked at Dickson Mounds Museum and the Papers of Abraham Lincoln.  She comes to the State Museum from the Springfield Art Association, where she was in charge of the restoration, interpretation, and programming at historic Edwards Place. Erika loves historic artifacts in general, but her favorite field of inquiry is pre-Civil War Illinois history and material culture.

Tracy Pierceall, Librarian

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Before joining the Illinois State Museum staff, Tracy Pierceall worked for 16 years in the library at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, six of those as head librarian.  In her free time, she’s an avid quilter but also tends to dabble in a number of creative endeavors.  She’s married and is a mother to two wonderful sons and one fur baby.

Learning with Objects

Providing programs that complement and enhance classroom learning is one of the many important roles of the Museum. Last month, Dr. Michael Wiant presented a program on Native American life to more than 100 second-grade students in Chatham. The students had been studying how Native Americans survived in their environment. Dr. Wiant illustrated his presentation with animal skins, casts of tracks, artifacts, and a mastodon molar. The students sent Dr. Wiant thank you notes, which showed that in addition to enjoying the program, they were also paying close attention. We couldn’t resist sharing a few here.