University of Arizona Museum of Art

The University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA) has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. UAMA, initially accredited in 1981, has maintained that standard for 40 straight years. 

Accreditation recognizes museums for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Less than four percent of all museums in the United States are accredited.

“We are immensely honored for the American Alliance of Museums to recognize the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers, docents, and Leadership Council,” said Jill McCleary, the museum’s deputy director. “This year marks 40 years since UAMA was first accredited and we will continuously strive to bring the highest quality educational programming, exhibitions, and care to our collections.

“This high distinction recognizes the work we do every day to deliver the University of Arizona’s educational mission both inside and outside the museum’s walls,” she said.

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, only 1,070 are currently accredited. UAMA is one of only 19 museums accredited in Arizona. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.

“What’s exciting about the UAMA’s successful reaccreditation is to see the museum soar over the very high bar set by the AAM,” said Andrew Schulz, the University’s vice president for the arts. “The report noted a number of exemplary practices, and was deeply impressed by the work and dedication of the museum’s staff, and by the outstanding leadership of Jill McCleary. I am proud to support Jill and her team as we continue to realize the university’s teaching, research, and service mission in and through the arts.”

The Accreditation Commission commended UAMA for the hard, self-reflective work since the last reaccreditation review. Plus, “We also want to recognize the good work that has been done as a part of Mapping Q and the localized, networked approach to disaster planning,” wrote Evans Richardson, chair of the commission.

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.

Accreditation is a very rigorous 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.” 

University of Arizona Museum of Art
The University of Arizona Museum of Art offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions, programming, and events designed to engage diverse audiences, inspire critical dialogue, and champion art as essential to our lives. The permanent collection includes over 6,000 works of art that span eight centuries and innumerable artistic styles. Highlights include the Altarpiece from Ciudad RodrigoThe Visitation by the Master of the Catholic Kings, Jackson Pollock’s Number 20, Mark Rothko’s Green on Blue (Earth-Green and White), and Red Canna by Georgia O’Keeffe. The Museum opened a new Archive of Visual Arts in 2012 to document the lives and creative processes of artists across the Southwest. UAMA invites all community members to enrich art on campus, in Tucson and beyond, by contributing their voices and stories. Visit

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. Visit