Peggy McGlone, The Washington Post G. Bunch III — the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture — has been appointed secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, becoming the first African American leader in its 173-year history. The Smithsonian’s Board of Regents introduced Bunch as the institution’s 14th secretary on Tuesday morning. He succeeds David […]
Ashton Lattimore, Slate Evelyn Hockstein/For the Washington Post via Getty Images. Featured Image a walking tour of the New Orleans Garden District, my husband and I exchanged meaningful glances after the fourth or fifth time our guide delicately referred to the slaves who once worked in those elegant old homes as “servants.” To our ears, the reference was absurdly, offensively […]
In an effort to get more visitors through its doors, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., will now make free, same-day visitor passes available online rather than requiring patrons to wait in line.
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History has been in the making for over a decade—it was established back in 2003 and is the first museum dedicated to black history in America.
Lonnie Bunch is the museum’s founding director, and the process of curating 400 years of black history has been deeply personal. “I want people who come through the museum to be changed, to realize that the African American experience is the quintessential American experience,” he says in this documentary by The Atlantic. “When you want to understand core American values of resiliency, optimism, spirituality, where better to look than within the African American community?”
The crown on the head of this sculpture by Nigerian artist Olowe of Ise helped inspire the design of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall September 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. Filled with exhibits and artifacts telling the story of the first Africans in the United States and their descendants, the 400,000-square-foot museum will open to the public on September 24. Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images
(Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/DC Refined)
National Museum of African American History and Culture SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM, WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is a Smithsonian Institution museum established in 2003. The museum’s building, designed by David Adjaye, is currently under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. 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 museum design approved in 2009. President Barack Obama helped break ground for the building on February 22, 2012. First concrete was poured in November 2012, and construction will be complete in April 2016. Smithsonian officials have announced that the museum will open on September 24, 2016.