Museum of African American History and Culture
1400 Constitution Ave, Washington, DC, USA
nmaahc.si.edu - (202) 633-4751
Museum of African American History and Culture Washington Reviews
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Aug 12, 2015
There is a new museum in the making in DC as part of an already impressive list of public museums as part of the Smithsonian Institute, the world's largest museum and research complex, currently with 19 museums, 9 research centers, and affiliates around the world. The new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is still under construction, but will be the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. The director of the new museum, Lonnie G. Bunch III, has said, “This Museum will tell the American story through the lens of African American history and culture. This is America’s Story and this museum is for all Americans.” It should be something to see when it opens in 2016, so thought I would put it on the board here. There was a good "60 Minutes" piece on it in May 2015 called “A Monumental Project” - http://www.cbsnews.com/news/african-american-history-culture-smithsonian-institute-60-minutes/
It's a bit of an unusual looking building and contrasts with traditional DC architecture, though it is situated right on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, specifically on Constitution Avenue between 14th and 15th streets, NW. The architect, David Adjaye has said of the building’s design, “The form of the building suggests a very upward mobility. It’s a ziggurat that moves upward into the sky, rather than downward into the ground. And it hovers above the ground. When you see this building, the opaque parts look like they’re being levitated above this light space, so you get the sense of an upward mobility in the building. And when you look at the way the circulation works, everything lifts you up into the light.” The entire building is wrapped in an ornamental bronze lattice that is a historical reference to African American craftsmanship. The interior will be multi-leveled filled with artifacts from African American History, though half of it’s total volume will be underground.
The plan is for the museum to be divided into 10 major galleries, and a summary of how those galleries will be organized are:
History Galleries - Slavery and Freedom (curator: Nancy Bercaw); Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: Era of Segregation (1876–1968) (curator: Spencer Crew); A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond (curators: William Pretzer and Michelle Wilkinson)
Culture Galleries - Musical Crossroads (curator: Dwandalyn Reece); Cultural Expressions (curator: Joanne Hyppolite); Visual Arts Gallery (curators: Tuliza Fleming and Jacquelyn Serwer)
Community Galleries - Power of Place (curator: Paul Gardullo); Making a Way Out of No Way (curators: Michele Gates Moresi and Kathleen Kendrick); Sports Gallery (curator: Damion Thomas); Military History Gallery (guest curator: Krewasky Salter)
Note: The official name of the place is Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, but Travbuddy only allows 50 characters in the title, so I shortened it to “Museum of African American History and Culture”.
Part of the Wandering in Washington DC travel blog
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