Locals and members especially may not have needed the folks at the American Association of Museums (AAM) to tell them what they already knew about Louisville’s beloved Speed Art Museum, but the years-long effort to renew its “gold seal” accreditation, and thereby reaffirm its position among the very best in the country, represents both a major boon for the institution and its many programs, as well as national recognition for the Museum’s continued high standards and commitment to their public trust.
Ford W. Bell, AAM President commented, “by achieving re-accreditation, the Speed Museum has again demonstrated that it not only meets, but far exceeds the highest standards for U.S. museums.” Bell continued, “this Museum embodies excellence, in all that it does, and is a jewel in the crown of Louisville’s museum community.”
Speed garnered its first AAM accreditation back in 1975 and is currently Kentucky’s largest art museum, with a collection of human creativity spanning multiple millennia and serving more than 30,000 school children annually through community outreach programs, workshops, tours, summer camps, and the award winning Art Sparks interactive gallery. Re-accreditation was also accompanied by a top level rating with Charity Navigator, which rates charities based on management best-practices and the general effectiveness of translating donated dollars to public good, both of which the Museum and its trustees hope will provide further fuel to Speed’s imminent expansion plans, which, “will create a state-of-the-art space for larger special exhibitions, new contemporary art galleries, a family education welcome center, indoor/outdoor café, museum shop, and a multifunctional auditorium for performances, lectures, and entertaining.”
Current exhibitions on-site include Kentucky Antiques from the Noe Collection: A Gift to the Commonwealth, on view through Spring 2012, Sacred Air Breath of Life: Selections from the Native-American Collection, on view through February 12, 2012, and Quick Start Story Gallery, a family installation, on view through Summer 2012, with Renoir to Chagall: Paris and the Allure of Color opening February 3rd. Located on the campus of the University of Louisville, The Speed Art Museum is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (open late); Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Galleries are closed on Monday through Tuesday, and general admission is $10, free for members.
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