The museum is the only one of its kind in the country to be funded by a major municipality. It seeks to preserve art and artifacts that represent the African American and diaspora. It was founded in 1976, the same year as the U.S. Bicentennial. Its mission is to tell the African American story through a wide range of subjects, including the Civil Rights movement, arts and entertainment, sports, politics, religion, law and architecture.
Since its opening, the museum has collected a diverse body of arts and memorabilia that depict the African American experience. Those works include visual arts, artifacts, clothes of different historic periods, tools, musical instruments, photographs and diaries. Specific collections include family and historic papers, organizational and institutional records, music, programs and playbills, Negro baseball league memorabilia and books.
Past exhibitions have showcased the museum’s rich collection. They include an exhibition on the legacy of black photography Jack Theodore Franklin, who worked as a photographer for the United States during World War II; art and artifacts from the Rosa Parks-inspired Montgomery bus boycott; and a survey of African Americans in Philadelphia from 1776 to 1876.
African American Museum in Philadelphia Information
- Public Transportation: Excellent (steps from buses 47 and 48 at Arch Street/7th Street; a 1-minute walk from bus 61 at Arch Street/8th Street; and a 4-minute walk from the MFL subway and the Patco rail at the 8th Street/Market Street Station)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Sunday Noon–5:00 p.m. Open Dr. Martin Luther King Day. Closed Mondays, and most major holidays
- Admission: $10 Adults; $8 children (4–12), students (w/ID) and seniors; Free for members
- Tour: Free, docent-led tours are available for adult groups, school groups and pre-school groups
- Membership: Individual membership is $50; Family membership is $75; Senior and student memberships are $30; Senior Couple membership is $35. All members receive free yearly admission to the Museum; a 10% discount at the Museum Shop; invitation to exhibition openings & special events; quarterly calendar of upcoming events; invitation to the Annual Meeting; discount admission to Art Sanctuary; reciprocal membership to the Atwater Kent Museum & the National Museum of American Jewish History
- Other Benefits: At the Alain Locke Society level ($500), members receive an invitation to lunch with AAMP’s President & CEO.