Athens, Ga. – William Underwood Eiland, director of the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia, received the American Alliance of Museums Award for Distinguished Service to Museums last week at AAM’s annual conference, in Baltimore.
The award was instituted in 1981 and recognizes excellence and contributions to the museum profession for at least 20 years. It is only given in years when there is a worthy nominee. Previous recipients include Charles F. Hummel of the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library and Bonnie Pitman, former director of the Dallas Museum of Art.
Consideration for the award is based on individual contributions to institutions, the museum profession and the local, state, national or international museum community. Eiland has been the director of the Georgia Museum of Art since 1992, a period of growth for the museum. For years, he has served with professional organizations including the AAM (where he is an accreditation site visitor), the Southeastern Museums Conference, the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Advisory Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts and the International Council of Museums.
Eiland is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received several fellowships, including the Danforth Teaching Fellowship at the University of Virginia, a museum professionals grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a research fellowship from UGA’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. He has edited and contributed to more than 50 publications.
Eiland earned a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and the Museum Professional of the Year in 2000-both from the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries.
Eiland previously earned Museum Professional of the Year (2000) and a Lifetime Achievement Award (2007) from Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries. The Southeastern College Art Conference named him Outstanding Museum Professional in 1999. Eiland was inducted into the Sigma Pi Kappa national honor society in spring 2010 and, in 2000, named a Distinguished Alum of Birmingham Southern College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1970.
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton St., University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see http://www.georgiamuseum.org or call 706/542-GMOA (4662).