The University of Hertfordshire Art Collection has been awarded Accredited Museum status by Arts Council England. This seal of approval is recognition of the UH Art Collection upholding the Accreditation standards in its care and management of the collection and engagement with users.
Managed by UH Arts + Culture, the UH Art Collection comprises of 500 artworks displayed across its campuses that bear witness to the University’s history and development over the past 70 years. A wonderfully diverse collection, it features 14 impressive external sculptures and a portfolio of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, ceramics and mixed-media works.
Accreditation is the benchmark for well-run Museums and Galleries, administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the UK Accreditation Partnership. It means that the University of Hertfordshire Art Collection is properly managed and governed to the nationally agreed industry standard and shows that the museum takes proper care of its collections, sharing them with visitors and keeping them safe for future generations.
Accreditation covers museums of all types and sizes – from the smallest volunteer-run museums to national museums – and more than 1,700 museums are currently taking part in the scheme across the UK. Accreditation opens up funding opportunities, allows museums to host touring exhibitions and gives access to professional advice and support. It also gives confidence to donors and sponsors who may wish to support the museum in preserving heritage and inspiring future generations.
Inna Allen, Head of UH Arts + Culture said: ‘Receiving Accredited Museum status is a considerable achievement for us. It demonstrates that the UH Art Collection is fit for the future and that we are committed to raising professional standards, developing engagement with audiences, and growing this nationally important collection.’
Liz Johnson, Director Museums and Cultural Property at Arts Council England said: ‘We’re delighted that the University of Hertfordshire Art Collection has been successful in gaining their Accreditation status. This means that their Collection will be looked after and maintained, offering inspiration, enjoyment and learning for the local community and visitors to enjoy now and in the future.’
Established in 1952 as part of Hertfordshire County Council’s commitment to the post-war building programme, the UH Art Collection was born as a result of the inspirational educationalist John Newsom ensuring that bespoke artworks were incorporated into the architecture of the university. As a result, the Collection’s five founding works were commissioned and purchased, including seminal works by Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. The ethos of the Collection developed from this commitment; valuing the integration of artworks within an education setting to enhance the environment and to inspire cross-disciplinary questioning and learning for students, staff and visitors. Today, the permanent Art Collection seeks to enhance the university environment by introducing modern and contemporary art in places where people study, work and visit.