If you have an interest in cultural heritage, particularly African-American cultural heritage, is the National Museum of African-American History and Culture (AA Museum). You should consider visiting if you’re a fan of grand designs and architecture.
August is known as the architectural and design month. This month, we will be looking at some of the most eye-catching attractions and monuments in terms of design and architectural style.
The AA Museum is a Smithsonian museum that opened its door in 2016.
Today, it is one of the most visited Smithsonian institutions in the country. The eye-popping design is one of the museum’s attractive features and designed by the Freelon Adjaye Bond/Smith Group.
The crown atop the museum was inspired by the three-tiered crowns common in Yoruba art from West Africa, and it is paying homage to this great African Architectural achievement.
The main entrance to the museum takes the form of a welcoming porch, a common sight in Southern American and Caribbean homes, again paying homage to Black design heritage.
The building completed by an ornamental bronze-colored lattice that encircles the entire outer section was added to pay homage to the hard, yet intricate work ironwork that southern American slaves in states like South Carolina and Louisiana crafted.
This type of ironwork requires a high level of intelligence and detail. A lot more credit should be given to Southern African-American slaves for their impeccable design skills.
The open concept design of the AA Museum allows the light of day to flow through easily and engulf the entire building. This was done deliberately by the designers to symbolize that the museum welcomes open dialogue about race-related issues and is a place for healing and reflection.
What does the Museum offer?
The design of the AA Museum is in keeping with its mandate to promote all good things about African-American Culture and Heritage. The museum has over 40,000 items in its collection; however, only 3,500 of these items are displayed to the general public.
Some of the notable items on display include a hymnal and eating utensils of Harriet Tubman and a linen and silk shawl given to her by Queen Victoria of England. There are also three postcards with images of Tubman from her funeral in 1913.
The museum is home to several items recovered from the Sao Jose Paquete Africa (a sunken slave ship recovered in South Africa in 2015).
Slaves commonly wore some feet and wrist manacles in the American South before 1860 and garments worn by African-American slaves.
Additionally, there is a letter written by Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture and a cherry red Cadillac convertible owned by rock and roll great Chuck Berry.
These are just some of the many unique and historical items that you will see when visiting the stunning AA Museum.
Why should you visit the AA Museum?
The AA Museum is the perfect place to reconnect with African-American culture and heritage and to get a deeper understanding of our traditions and where they all started.
By the time you view the items on display in this great museum, you will be inspired by some of the African American community’s achievements.
More importantly, you will be blown away by the unique design and architecture of the building. The holistic experience of taking a trip to the AA Museum in Washington, DC, will be life-changing!