Earlier this month, the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University was re-accredited for maintaining its continued expectation of excellence.
The American Alliance of Museums, the premiere museum professional organization in the country, reaccredited the university’s art museum after a review process including an extensive self-study by museum staff and a site visit by an accreditation team.
Burt Logan, chair of the American Alliance of Museum’s Accreditation Commission, said in a letter to Linda Duke, Beach Museum of Art director, that the museum continues to meet national standards and best practices for the nation’s museums, as well as serving as an institution that holds itself publicly accountable to excellence.
“I’d like to thank university administration and, most especially, our hard-working and talented museum staff, friends and advisory council members and board of visitors for helping the museum retain this important status,” Duke said.
Logan also noted in his letter that, through a rigorous process of self-assessment and review by its peers, the Beach Museum of Art has shown itself to be a good steward of its resources held in public trust and is committed to a philosophy of continual institutional growth.
“The Beach exemplifies the role of museum as connector, sharing its knowledge with its university community and using technology to fulfill its obligation to serve Kansas audiences,” Logan said in his letter. “We also note that the education staff’s calculated experimentation and proactive approach to program development steeped in current cutting-edge research is exemplary.”
The site visit report did list the museum’s need to ensure additional funding for the museum, Duke said, but re-accreditation will not be affected at this time. Current levels of donations and endowment income have limited the museum’s budget and necessitated reduced operating hours.
Duke said the site report also praised campus leadership for the value it placed on the Beach Museum of Art and its mission to further the teaching, research and service functions of the university through its programming and educational outreach efforts. An example was the introduction of visual thinking strategies to the campus and community. This educational methodology is based on looking at works of art to help develop cognitive, communication, observation and social skills.
Site review report authors included Mark Chepp, executive director of the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center in Portsmouth, Ohio, and Anne Collins Goodyear, co-director, Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine.
The museum’s next self-study for re-accreditation will be due Nov. 1, 2026.