Skip to content

Oakland Museum of California Receives American Alliance of Museums Special Achievement Award

The Oakland Museum of California is pleased to announce its award for Special Achievement, Contextualizing Collections with Community Voice for the Pacific Worlds exhibition from the American Alliance of Museums in the 28th annual Excellence in Exhibition Competition, announced publicly today at the 2016 AAM Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. OMCA was recognized for its multi-disciplinary approach for community engagement, particularly in first person labels.

AAM received 37 entries for this year’s competition, with only ten winners being selected. Please find a detailed press release with more information about OMCA’s award included below.


May 27, 2016

Ten Exhibitions Garner Awards from American Alliance of Museums

ARLINGTON, VA – Ten museum exhibitions have gained accolades in the 28th annual Excellence in Exhibition Competition, presented by the American Alliance of Museums. Top exhibitions included:


National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC

“Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations”

Overall award winner


San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, CA

“Coast to Cactus in Southern California”

Overall award winner


Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

“National Geographic Sacred Journeys”

Special Achievement, Risky Subject


Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO

“Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio”

Special Achievement, Interpretation


Museum of Science, Boston, MA

“The Science Behind Pixar”

Special Achievement, Planning Process


National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD

“Living Seashore”

Special Achievement, Engagement With Living Collection


National Museum of American History, Washington, DC

“Object Project”

Special Achievement, Reframing Collections


Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA

“Pacific Worlds”

Special Achievement, Contextualizing Collections With Community Voice


Long Island Children’s Museum, Garden City, NY

 “Broken? Fix It!”

Honorable Mention, Universally Relevant Topic Made Creatively “Hands-On”


North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum, Bismarck, ND

“Innovation Galleries: Early Peoples”

Honorable Mention, Excellent Outreach to Create Multi-Sensory Experiences

Read more about the winning exhibitions.

“This year we received a record-setting 37 exhibition entries from around the world and across the museum field,” said Stacey Swigart, curator of collections at Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, who served as the competition coordinator. “We saw entries from museums of art, botanical, history, music, children’s, science and more. The exhibition entries showed the commitment of the museum field to continually push the boundaries of what exhibitions can and should be.”

The awards will be presented in a ceremony May 27 at the AAM 2016 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Washington, DC.

Awards are sponsored by four of AAM’s Professional Networks including the Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation (CARE), Curators Committee (CurCom), Education Committee (EdCom) and National Association of Museum Exhibition (NAME).

Read more about the standards for excellence in exhibitions.

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 30,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance is the only organization representing the entire scope of the broad museum community. For more information, visit


Press Contact: 
Joseph Klem
Phone: 202-218-7670
Email: [email protected]