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Flagler Museum Gets Award Featured

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Award presentation Award presentation
The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in Palm Beach has been honoured with the 2013 Ross Merrill Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections. This award is presented jointly by Heritage Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). Award winners are selected by a panel of distinguished preservation and conservation experts from across the Nation. The Flagler Museum is the first Florida organization awarded this honor since it was established in 1999.
This prestigious award recognizes the Museum's sustained commitment, spanning 54 years, to the care of its collections and the preservation of the National Historic Landmark, Whitehall. The Awards Committee was very impressed with the Museum's success and hard work in the face of challenges and adversity, including saving Whitehall from demolition, decades of restoration and object repatriation, and proper preservation and collections care. Committee Members commended the Museum on its ability to develop and execute a long-range plan to upgrade conditions, conduct assessments, and develop emergency plans and unanimously agreed that "the nomination was an excellent one and that the award is well deserved." The presentation of the award took place at the Florida Association of Museums 2013 Annual Conference, to be held in Fort Lauderdale in September.
John Blades, Executive Director of the Flagler Museum said, "This award recognizes the Museum's substantial achievements, which would not have been possible without the longstanding commitment of the Board of Trustees, the hard work of the Museum staff, the Museum's dedicated Docent corps, its many Members, Contributors, and Funders, and the strong support of the Palm Beach County Community. Building on the efforts of Jean Flagler Matthews to save this National Historic Landmark, the Board of Trustees and the Flagler Museum staff have, for more than half a century, made the preservation, conservation, and interpretation of Whitehall and the collections their highest priority. The prestigious Ross Merrill Award is an important milestone and a major highlight of the Museum's 54 years of operation."
The Award 
The Ross Merrill Award is presented annually to an organization in North America that has been exemplary in the importance and priority it has given to conservation concerns and in the commitment it has shown to the preservation and care of its cultural property within the context of its broader mission. Past recipients have included Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Central Park Conservancy; The Henry Ford; and Shelburne Museum.
About AIC 
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works is the national membership organization of conservation professionals dedicated to preserving the art and historic artifacts of our cultural heritage for future generations. AIC plays a crucial role in establishing and upholding professional standards, promoting research and publications, providing educational opportunities, and fostering the exchange of knowledge among conservators, allied professionals, and the public. Learn more about AIC at
Photo caption: L. to R. - Rosa Lowinger, Fellow of AIC and Florida Association of Museums Board Member, presents the Ross Merrill Award to John Blades, executive director, and Tracy Kamerer, chief curator, at the Flagler Museum.
Clifford Cunningham

Dr. Clifford Cunningham is a planetary scientist. He earned his PhD in the history of astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland, and has undergraduate degrees in science and ancient history from the University of Waterloo. In 2014 he was named a contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica. He is the author of 14 books on asteroids and the history of science. In 1999 he appeared on the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Asteroid 4276 was named in his honor in 1990 by the International Astronomical Union based on the recommendation of its bureau located at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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