Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC

(170+ reviews on the web)
History Museum Specialty Museum
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.
Smithsonian National Museum of African Art is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Washington DC Edition.
Source
Create a full Washington DC itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Washington DC

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Washington DC by other users

4 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, culture, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 23 days in United States BY A USER FROM INDONESIA December, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Arlington & Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • There is almost nothing on display in this museum. There are a few pieces from here and there, presented with little or no context. The pieces on display are in no way exceptional or even particularly...  more »
  • You start at the top floor, and gradually go down to see additional exhibits. The art pieces which include all media are fabulous. Usually museum stores are near the exit so patrons won't miss it but ...  more »
  • Beautiful garden outside the entrance. The volunteers are passionate and informed. We got a short group tour and the volunteer had us focus on a couple pieces rather than rush through the whole museum...  more »
Google
  • Great selection of artworks from Africa. I particularly enjoyed the sculptures. Fascinating masterpieces.
  • Really well organized museum. I love the subterranean layout of this building and how this building links to other museums.
  • Wow! I'm speechless. You need more than just one day to Njoy all that the museum has to offer. I most definitely will be returning.
  • Like the other Smithsonian museums, this was beautiful and a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
  • Extremely well put together display of African American culture and history. The visual take you in a journey; so much to see!