#Events

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by an Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 40,000 artifacts. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

Plan a Visit

1400 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday
12 to 5:30 p.m. Monday*
*10 a.m. on federal holidays
Closed Dec. 25

Free timed-entry passes required

 

About

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives, and how it helped us shape this nation.

Highlights

Harriet Tubman’s hymnal; Nat Turner’s bible; A plantation cabin from South Carolina; Guard tower from Angola Prison; Michael Jackson’s fedora; and works by prolific artists such as Charles Alston, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, and Henry O. Tanner.

A Century in the Making: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture

September 24, 2016 – Permanent

National Museum of African American History and Culture
1400 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Concourse Level

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened on the National Mall Sept. 24, but the effort to build the museum began more than 100 years ago. This exhibit explores the journey toward fulfillment of this long-held dream, providing an overview of the century-long struggle that began in 1915 and its culminating achievements. Opening the museum has involved the efforts of presidents and members of Congress, curators and architects, art collectors and army veterans, celebrities and ordinary citizens. Visitors will learn the inspiration behind the museum’s architectural building design and the significance of the museum’s unique location on the National Mall, at the center of Washington’s historic core.

A Century in the Making explores the journey to open the newest Smithsonian museum on the National Mall.

This exhibition chronicles the century-long struggle, many attempts and numerous steps to realize the opening of the museum – including the activism of private citizens and organizations, passage of federal legislation, construction of an inspiring new building and collecting thousands of artifacts.

About the Exhibition

  • When: Ongoing
  • Where: Concourse Level (C)
  • Curators: Joanne Hyppolite and Michelle Wilkinson
In September 2016, the newest Smithsonian museum opened on the National Mall. The journey to open the museum has taken many attempts and numerous steps to realize, including the activism of private citizens and organizations, passage of federal legislation, construction of an inspiring new building, and collecting thousands of artifacts.
 

Exhibition Experience

A Need for a Museum

The first part of the exhibit allows visitors to explore the motivations and steps taken by numerous individuals and groups from 1915 to 2003 to establish a national monument and building in Washington D.C. dedicated to African American contributions to the nation.

An Architectural Marvel

The sources of inspiration behind the Museum’s building design and the architectural team responsible for it are revealed.

A Symbolic Site

This section highlights the significance of the Museum’s unique location on the National Mall, at the center of Washington D.C.’s historic core.

A Design in Harmony

Here visitors can review the important role the public played in shaping the Museum’s final design and its integration with its physical environment.

A Collection from Scratch

This section explores the critical role collection donors played in helping the Museum grow its collection of close to 43,000 artifacts and works of art.

Our Museum Family

The last part of the exhibit presents the behind-the-scenes contributions of numerous individuals, groups, and volunteers involved in the Museum’s development. 

 

 

 

 

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