Lincoln (Neb.) - Sept. 12, 2000 - The American Association of Museums announced last month that it has voted to table the reaccreditation of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The AAM, the national membership organization overseeing museum accreditation in the United States, cited four areas of concern following its review of materials submitted by the Sheldon and a site visit last spring. These areas are: the need to clarify the role and relationship of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and the Nebraska Art Association; the care and management of the museum's collections; the submission of a detailed operating budget; and evidence of the university's ongoing support of the museum.
To retain its accreditation, initially conferred in 1972 and renewed in 1988, the museum is required to submit an interim report detailing progress in these areas in January, with a final document to follow in late summer 2001. Janice Driesbach, who became director of the Sheldon on Sept. 1, expressed her appreciation for the diligence demonstrated by the accreditation committee and noted her awareness of the concerns raised.
"Retaining the museum's accreditation is my high, and most immediate, priority as incoming director of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden," Driesbach said. "I have been impressed by the enthusiastic commitment and ambitious history of both the Nebraska Art Association and the university leadership in developing the Sheldon as a remarkable resource for the community and region. As the report notes, staff members are a highly valued asset, and I look forward to engaging all of the museum's constituencies in cooperative efforts to address the concerns noted in this report promptly and resourcefully."
Driesbach said one of her initial requests as Sheldon director was to embark on a strategic planning process. She said strategic planning ranks high on her agenda as one of several avenues to pursue to assure the museum meets, or has a schedule in place to comply with, museum professional practices. She said it also promises to further efforts to rehabilitate and expand the Sheldon's facilities.
"I see this as an exciting opportunity to establish partnerships and allow the Sheldon to effectively contribute to the priorities of the university and the community," Driesbach said.
"I'm delighted to have someone of Janice Driesbach's caliber leading
our efforts in responding to the AAM's concerns," said UNL Interim
Chancellor Harvey Perlman. "The Sheldon is an unparalleled resource for
the university, the community and the state, and I'm fully confident that
under Janice's leadership it will grow into an even stronger institution
than it has been in the past."
The Sheldon houses an outstanding collection of American art dating from
the late 18th century to the present in a landmark building designed by
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