College of LAS « Illinois

Spurlock Museum

Spurlock Museum Receives National Accreditation

Gallery in Spurlock Museum

The Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois has moved into a select circle that includes less than 5 percent of the museums in the United States. It has received accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum.

Of the nation’s 17,500 museums, only 775 have received AAM accreditation, according to the association. Twenty-four museums in Illinois have received accreditation, with half of those in Chicago.

“Accreditation really gives you credibility in the museum community,” says Spurlock director Wayne Pitard.

The Spurlock Museum contains about 43,000 cultural artifacts from around the world, including ancient Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia, and Rome. The museum traces its roots to 1911, but it didn’t move into its own state-of-the-art facility until 2002. This new building, which features five permanent galleries and one gallery that changes twice per year, is what made accreditation a possibility.

Accreditation “makes it more likely that you can bring in higher-quality visiting exhibits,” adds Pitard. “It simply makes us much more visible around the state and country.”

Fall 2009