State Sen. Ernesto Lopez recently visited the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., to celebrate the accreditation of the museum system of the State of Delaware by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the system includes five state museums—the John Dickinson Plantation near Kitts Hummock; the Johnson Victrola Museum and Old State House in downtown Dover; the New Castle Court House Museum; and the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes—over 40 historic properties and the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections.
Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the alliance’s accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.
The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters. The museum’s exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history.
The museum is currently open for visitation and tours from Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.