National Museum of African Art, Washington DC

(4.2/5 based on 160+ reviews on the web)
The National Museum of African Art is an African art museum located in Washington, D.C., United States. The museum is one of nineteen under the wing of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum, which was started in 1964, was originally located at the Frederick Douglass House in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C.In 1979 the museum was transferred over to the Smithsonian and relocated to the National Mall. It opened in its current location, as one of two institutions, constructed mostly underground, in the quadrangle complex behind the Smithsonian Institution Building (the Castle), in 1987. The other is the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery for Asian art.HistoryIn 1964, Warren M. Robbins founded the Museum of African Art. It was a privately funded African art museum at the Frederick Douglass House, in Washington, D.C. Robbins owned the building. A former American Foreign Services officer, Robbins was the first museum director. The museum showcased traditional African art and had educational programs about African art and culture. The museum consisted of nine row homes with twelve galleries, a library and a small auditorium. Robbins, who collected African art while serving overseas, sought to "foster an understanding African art in the U.S." The museum grew to have an annual budget of $900,000. Robbins and staff approached the government in 1976 asking the Smithsonian Institution to acquire the museum.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Amazing art displays. Lots of room for expansion of more exhibits. Has a lovely gift shop with one of a kind items made from African motifs. Books and other souvenirs are also available. The tribal dr...  more »
  • Like most museums in D.C., African k art museum is free. It's actually a museum to do for lovers of African art; it approximates the Quai Branly in Paris. He y'a permanent but also exhibitions temporary, for my part j appreciated African art in water and the masks Yoruba and igbo. He film traces the history of apartheid in South Africa. I would highly recommend.
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  • It is a good museum to visit. This is definitely a must see whenever you visit DC.The exhibits are beautiful.The varied objects include masks, dress, and art work. 
Google
  • Interesting stuff but limited artifacts on African culture, all items are from 19th and 20th century and nothing predating 19 era. One thing you might like is that the whole place is underground except the entrance and visitor center. A bit difficult to find the place, it's on the back side of the castle and towards the fence of the compound.
  • Loved this museum. Not sure if it was completely finished yet, as it was a little confusing with the different floors. Well worth going to see the exhibits, and the way they are presented is wonderful.
  • Excellent and very courteous service . Very knowledgeable staff . What a history of mankind?
  • This museum is really good to the people who are more interest in African history, there are nice historical presentations inside it,
  • Very cool and amazing learn what other areas in the world have done