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Tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture

A closer look at how history shaped the museum

The Smithsonian’s latest museum in Washington, D.C., explores African American history in every aspect—even through its architecture.

Designed by a team of firms under the name of Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroupJJR, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is designed to pay respect to history as well as arts and crafts done by black Americans in the South. The metal lattice on the facade references ironwork crafted by African-American slaves, and the angles of the building’s stepped "corona" match those at the top of the Washington Monument.

A visitor is meant to experience the museum vertically— moving up from the basement, which depicts the dark periods of slavery, to the higher floors that represent present culture of African Americans. The distinct architecture of the museum sets it apart from the other neo-classical monuments and museums on the Mall.

Read more about the NMAAHC here.