National Museum of African Art

National Museum of African Art

National Museum of African Art
4.5
About
Part of the Smithsonian Institution that concentrates on crafts and objects from the sub-Saharan region of Africa.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience National Museum of African Art and nearby attractions

The area
Address
How to get there
  • Smithsonian • 4 min walk
  • L'Enfant Plaza • 6 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • MsKiesha
    Alexandria, Virginia2,708 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful museum
    Absolutely breathtaking exhibits and very beautiful museum. I really enjoy my visit and was in awe of the creativity and diversity throughout the museum. It was not crowded at all, so I was able to find parking right across the street and take my time in each exhibit. I look forward to coming back in the future.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 27 October 2023
  • montanapescado
    Albuquerque, New Mexico1,364 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A worthwhile stop at the Smithsonian; good use of time
    This is one of the Smithsonian's smaller collections, but the variety of styles media is impressive. It's nice to have a Smithsonian museum with this breadth that doesn't take all day to properly explore. This is a fine introduction to African art for those of us not already well versed in the topic.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 18 November 2023
  • Robert D
    3,872 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent museum
    The National Museum of African Art is much larger than it looks from the outside because most of the exhibits are underground. There is a wide variety of exhibits to enjoy. Benin artist Georges Adeagbo created an installation of over 200 items that are associated with Abraham Lincoln which was displayed in Lincoln's Summer Cottage and now have come to the Smithsonian. One of the most unusual exhibits was "From the Deep: In the Wake of Drexciya with Ayana Jackson". Drexciya is an imaginary underwater kingdom populated by the children of pregnant women who had been thrown overboard or jumped voluntarily into the ocean during the transatlantic slave trade.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 5 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles248 reviews
Excellent
118
Very good
96
Average
23
Poor
7
Terrible
4

Robert D
Brooklyn, New York3,872 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
The National Museum of African Art is much larger than it looks from the outside because most of the exhibits are underground. There is a wide variety of exhibits to enjoy. Benin artist Georges Adeagbo created an installation of over 200 items that are associated with Abraham Lincoln which was displayed in Lincoln's Summer Cottage and now have come to the Smithsonian. One of the most unusual exhibits was "From the Deep: In the Wake of Drexciya with Ayana Jackson". Drexciya is an imaginary underwater kingdom populated by the children of pregnant women who had been thrown overboard or jumped voluntarily into the ocean during the transatlantic slave trade.
Written 5 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

montanapescado
Albuquerque, NM1,364 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
This is one of the Smithsonian's smaller collections, but the variety of styles media is impressive. It's nice to have a Smithsonian museum with this breadth that doesn't take all day to properly explore. This is a fine introduction to African art for those of us not already well versed in the topic.
Written 18 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MsKiesha
Alexandria, VA2,708 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
Absolutely breathtaking exhibits and very beautiful museum. I really enjoy my visit and was in awe of the creativity and diversity throughout the museum. It was not crowded at all, so I was able to find parking right across the street and take my time in each exhibit. I look forward to coming back in the future.
Written 27 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

E.L.E
Brno, Czech Republic18,510 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Solo
Very informative museum about African history, culture and how important they were for our country to develop. Worth spending one hour
Written 14 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

worktotravel14
Trenton, NJ3,275 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
This museum does much to celebrate and elevate the diversity of Africa. Half underground, half above ground, this is a treasure trove. We happened to arrive just as a free art class was starting at the museum. The art class was led by a local artist and was derived to find inspiration in the Heroes exhibit which talked about the principles of African heroism and profiled the human, the historic, and the mythical as heroes in African society. In many cases, the point was the collective heroism that African nations and cultures draw upon and how that is infused in to Black culture more generally. The class was beautiful and left us with principles and an encouragement of seeing differently and drawing through art.

During our time there we also enjoyed time in the permanent collection where we found that the museum has now taken on the principle of returning art that was gained through plunder and where they can verify that origin story. It is always the right time to make things right and I gained a great deal of respect for that action. I hope it's one that continues, even if it compromises the museum's collections.

Perhaps the highlight was Ike Ude's portraits of Nollywood stars and the way in which they examined their celebrity, the industry, their various traits and the glamour of the business. It truly felt like a celebration of the one of the biggest film industry in the world, which is now raising the bar and quality of other African countries.

I could have spent a few more hours here, but moved on (in service to the art) in the Hirshorn. Can't wait to check out what is next.
Written 7 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elliott P
Skokie, IL598 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Solo
Couldn’t score tickets to the wildly popular National Museum of African American History & Culture? Come here instead. I found the similarly named but continentally distinct National Museum of African Art to be well worth visiting.
The architecture of this space is immaculate. The newly updated and smartly curated exhibits inside are endlessly intriguing.
On a tight schedule? It’s relatively easy to make your way through the museum in two hours or less. I would advise anyone visiting the Smithsonian not to pass by this museum.
Written 4 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

An0nyMs
Tucson, Arizona1,517 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021 • Solo
Looking at the museum from the street, you might think it's very small. But it actually goes three floors down and has much larger galleries.

I've seen a number of museums' African art exhibitions, but this one is different! That's partly the depth and breadth of the collection here. But a majority of the work his modern and contemporary African art, which may be as new to you as it was to me. I only had two hours but could barely see a bit more than half of it.
Written 18 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doug M
Chesterfield, MO796 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
This one of the smaller of the Smithsonian museums, and was not very crowded at all when I was there. The pieces on display are pretty interesting, with most items being sculptures or physical items, and only a few paintings. It doesn't take too long to go through, especially compared to the other museums. Really for those interested specifically in African art or wanting to check off all the museums.
Written 5 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert D
Brooklyn, New York3,872 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
This underground museum features several interesting exhibits of various aspects of African art. I especially enjoyed the Heroes exhibit, with art inspired by various African heroes.
Written 17 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ZenDark30
Portland, OR4,261 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Not to be confused with the newer African Cultural Museum, this museum connects you to the Freer Gallery and Sackler Gallery through an underground passage. Outside is the Smithsonian Castle and gardens. All are very close and worth the investment.

If you’re cramped for time, go straight to the special exhibits.
Written 10 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 212
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

National Museum of African Art - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

All Washington DC HotelsWashington DC Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Washington DC
All things to do in Washington DC
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday homesTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire