For Immediate Release
Monday, August 8, 2022
Elizabeth Hunt Blanc
JESUIT DALLAS MUSEUM ACCREDITED BY THE AAM
First Art Museum of its Kind to Earn Accreditation
DALLAS – The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the premier organization representing the entire scope of the national museum community, has announced the Jesuit Dallas Museum (JDM) among its newest accreditations. Of the estimated 34,000 museums in the United States, just roughly 1,000 of the most prominent and prestigious have received accreditation, signaling the highest national standard of recognition possible for a museum.
The JDM is the first of its kind and truly unlike any other museum in the country. Integrated into the architecture and physical fabric of the Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, the Museum’s expansive collection includes over 700 works of art spanning 2,000 years, and features regionally and internationally celebrated painters, sculptors, and photographers. The artwork buoys the student experience and blankets halls, classrooms, and courtyards throughout the 34-acre campus.
“The JDM’s two greatest strengths are its collection and its support from a wide, cross-section of individuals and the larger Jesuit community,” shared a final report from the Accreditation Visiting Committee. “Time and again, the site visitors were struck by the depth of connection that the school, students, faculty, administration, and board of trustees had with the collection and the educational philosophy of integration of content with curriculum. The way the staff and board make the collection relevant and accessible should be a model for other institutions that exist in nontraditional art museum environments.”
The Jesuit Dallas Museum was incorporated in 1986 as a non-profit institution, and while it shares the campus of the School, it is separately chartered and governed by its own board of trustees. The Museum exists primarily to serve the students of Jesuit Dallas and the broader School community, although public and private tours of its world-class collection are often scheduled, and exhibition openings are publicized and inclusive events.
Elizabeth Hunt Blanc, Director of the Jesuit Dallas Museum, noted, “Following a strenuous application and review process, our accreditation signifies excellence, accountability, and high professional standards. It is a designation for our unique institution that makes me very proud. An enormous thank you goes to the board members and docents who worked diligently to accomplish this endeavor, including President Emeritus of the Board, Susan Carringer, who led the accreditation team, as well as Jesuit Dallas President Mike Earing, Susie Andrews, Diane Eudy, Fred Jackson, James Kramer, Lisa Meyer, Claudia McLeod, Pamela Nelson, Meg Reznicek, Seth Waits, and Claire Ward.”
“We are very pleased to be accredited by the AAM,” shared Fred Jackson, President of the JDM Board of Trustees. “The unique partnership between the Jesuit Dallas Museum and the School is leading the country in best practices and reinforcing the importance of an appreciation of art in our young people.”
Only a small number of institutions successfully complete the rigorous self-assessment and review process, and even fewer are recognized as demonstrating a gold standard for museum excellence. In that regard, the Jesuit Dallas Museum joins the ranks of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art, and is the only accredited fine art museum in the country housed within a high school.
“We found the museum to be an exemplary institution well deserving of accreditation,” said AAM Accreditation Commission Chair, Evans Richardson. “Most impressive is the museum’s connection to the teaching mission of the school and the passion of everyone involved. It would be very easy to try and place this museum into existing paradigms of what an art museum “should” be. But what we found was a unique institution that reminds us to put the concept of connection between art and audience at the core of what we do. We could not be more convinced that the current structure at JDM allows for excellence and more significantly demands it.”