Lawmaker Releases Letter to the American Association of Museums ("AAM")'s Accreditation Commission renewing his request to investigate the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, following Emily Neff's resignation

Oklahoma House of Representatives Media Division 12 November 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY — State Rep. Mike Reynolds today appealed the refusal of American Association of Museums' President, Ford W. Bell, to investigate the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art's accreditation status, by issuing a letter to AAM's Accreditation Commission, renewing his request to investigate the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

"This request is no longer about the case filed by Leone Meyer about a Nazi-Looted painting. This now involves the resignation, possibly the firing of Emily Neff from the Fred Jones Museum, the circumstances around the acceptance of the Weitzenhoffer's bequest to the University of Oklahoma in 2000, as well as a number of other artworks tainted by Nazi provenance inside the walls of a State institution. These issues constitute a significant number of potential violations of AAM's Code of Ethics by the University of Oklahoma," said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City.

"I was surprised to hear on Friday that Ford Bell was reported to refuse such an investigation. A professional accreditation organization as prestigious as AAM does not get to choose when it wants to enforce its Code of Ethics. Either it does, or it does not. AAM swiftly enforced its Code against the Delaware Museum of Art over one painting, so there is no reason for this Commission not to review the accreditation status of the Fred Jones Museum over a number of potential violations. This is a disgrace over the great State of Oklahoma, and this needs to be fixed," said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City.

“I am grateful to Gideon Taylor, Chair of the World Jewish Restitution Organization, for sending a letter to Ford Bell yesterday supporting my request to the American Association of Museums’ Accreditation Commission. My Committee fully agrees with the WJRO that AAM must ensure “that its members museums should uphold the standards set by the museum profession itself,” said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City.

To read the letter, click here.


Contact: State Rep. Mike Reynolds
Phone:  (405) 401-1605

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