National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC

#8 of 68 in Museums in Washington DC
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is a Smithsonian Institution museum located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in the United States. It was established in December 2003 and opened its permanent home in September 2016 with a ceremony led by President Barack Obama.

Early efforts to establish a federally owned museum featuring African-American history and culture can be traced to 1915, although the modern push for such an organization did not begin until the 1970s. After years of little success, a much more serious legislative push began in 1988 that led to authorization of the museum in 2003. A site was selected in 2006, and a design submitted by Freelon Group/Adjaye Associates/Davis Brody Bond was chosen in 2009. Construction began in 2012 and the museum completed in 2016.

The NMAAHC is the world's largest museum dedicated to African-American history and culture. It ranked as the fourth most-visited Smithsonian museum in its first full year of operation. The museum has more than 40,000 objects in its collection, although only about 3,500 items are on display. The 350,000-square-foot (33,000 m2), 10 story building (five above and five below ground) and its exhibits have won critical praise.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture reviews

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3,512 reviews
  • A must see and worth the trip to DC. This museum should be the basis for the education of our kids from Grade school through high school. It tells the story of the founding of our great country on...  more »
  • I feel like I won the lottery and FINALLY got tickets. I encourage everyone to keep trying and check their website frequently. I truly enjoyed all the exhibits. So much history. A lot of reading...  more »
  • This museum was incredible. There were so many exhibits that were set up well: we started at the top floor and worked our way down. The exhibits about music, film (showed clips of some famous shows, and sports were among our favorite. We also enjoyed learning how to step dance at one of the exhibits. We enjoyed the exhibit about war heroes who were posthumously awarded medals, as their race prevented them from receiving while alive. Overall, the entire experience took a bit over 2 hours to enjoy, though we could have easily spent another hour.
  • Being a black man I needed to come to this museum and I can tell you I was not disappointed in the slightest. From the outside admiring the building to each floor being jam packed with information, art, beauty, and overall heart and soul for the black experience it was a pleasure spending 2+ hours here. There is more to see than can be experienced in one trip and I would gladly come back time and time again. Bring yourself, your family, your friends, and everyone that you know. There is something for everyone to learn and appreciate here in the museum!

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