The Utah Museum of Fine Arts has again been awarded the highest honor a museum can receive: accreditation by the American Association of Museums. Accreditation certifies that a museum operates according to standards set forth by the museum profession, manages its collections responsibly and provides quality service to the public. Of the 8,000 museums nationwide, only some 750 are accredited.

"We hope the people of Utah share our pride in having earned this prestigious honor," said Frank Sanguinetti, director of the UMFA. "This process was rigorous and demanding, as we examined virtually every aspect of our museum's operations; a year of self-study and an on-site review by a team of experienced museum professionals was required. We invite everyone in our community to help us celebrate this award by visiting the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and exploring its fine collection and exhibits."This is the third accreditation the UMFA has received. In 1972 it was the first university museum west of the Mississippi to receive this distinction. Construction of the new $12.5 million Marcia and John Price Building to house the UMFA is now in progress near the south end of the university campus. The 63,000-square-foot museum will be twice the size of the current museum. The facility will include a central grand gallery, an auditorium, cafe, museum store, education center, sculpture court and a group of changing and permanent exhibition galleries. The new UMFA will be open to the public in the summer of 2000.

The UMFA, on the U. of U. campus at 1530 E. 370 South, is open every day and admission is always free to the public. Visitor parking is available throughout the week and is provided free on weekends. Museum hours are Mon-day-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. For information on current exhibits call the museum hotline at 801-581-7332.