Museum Watch – Washington DC

26 Jan

From time to time, I like to visit a museum in beautiful Washington, DC. These provide fantastic cultural opportunities with little to no impact on the pocket. This post will highlight a few upcoming events and ongoing exhibits at local museums. Of note are the events at the Newseum looking at the life of Boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and the Thelonius Monk film Straight, No Chaser {THIS THURSDAY}

Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser
Date: Thursday, January 28, 2009 6:30pm

Film: (1988, 90 min., directed by Charlotte Zwerin, produced by Clint Eastwood)
This documentary about legendary pianist and composer Thelonious Monk combines archival footage of Monk in the studio, on tour, and off stage with interviews with his family and colleagues to shed light on the extraordinary life of a reclusive genius.
Location: SMITHSONIAN American Art Museum McEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level (enter from G St.)
8th and F Streets, N.W. 
Cost Free; first come, first served

 Inside Media: Sugar Ray Robinson

THE NEWSEUM — Join acclaimed biographer and Washington Post reporter Wil Haygood as he talks about his latest book “Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson.” 
Haygood, a native of Columbus, Ohio, is the author of two other biographies: “King of the Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.” and “In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr.”
He is the recipient of numerous writing awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
A book signing will follow the program.
Guest: Wil Haygood
Date: Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010
Location: Knight TV Studio, Level 3, 2:30 p.m. Pennsylvania Avenue, NW {Archives Navy Memorial Metro}


Separate and Unequaled:
Black Baseball in the District of Columbia

On view indefinitely


Back by popular demand after a recent successful run at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., a condensed version of this exhibition is on view at the museum. From Reconstruction to the second half of the 20th century, baseball, the great American pastime, was played in Washington, D.C., on segregated fields. “Separate and Unequaled” looks at the phenomenal popularity and community draw of this sport when played by African Americans. Featured are such personalities as Josh Gibson and “Buck” Leonard, star players of the Negro Leagues most celebrated team, the Washington Homestead Grays. The show also highlights community teams that gave rise to the various amateur, collegiate and semi-pro black baseball teams and leagues. For special viewing hours and tours, call 202.633.4844.

The African Presence in México:  From Yanga to the Present
On view November 9, 2009–July 4, 2010

The African Presence in México: From Yanga to the Present is a traveling exhibition developed by curators Sagrario Cruz-Carretero and Cesáreo Moreno at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. The exhibition examines the history, culture, and art of Afro-Mexicans, and begins in the colonial era and continues to the present day. Highlights of the exhibition include discussions of African slavery in Mexico and the hero/slave rebel Yanga; artifacts related to the traditions and popular culture of Afro-Mexicans; and paintings, masks, photography, and other works of art.

This exhibition is accompanied by Who Are We Now? Roots, Resistance, and Recognition, developed by curator Elena Gonzales. Who Are We Now? charts the history of the relationship between Mexicans and African Americans in the United States as well as the relationship between African Americans and the country of Mexico.
Please visit the exhibition website.
These exhibitions were organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, and received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Exhibition programs and special events are presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center, the National Museum of African Art, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Additional program support provided by the Mexican Cultural Institute.

African American History Museums

The Washington, DC area has many museums that highlight the history of African Americans. Learn about the heritage of blacks in the United States.

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

The Smithsonian museum has the largest publicly held collection of contemporary African art in the United States including more than 9,000 objects representing nearly every country in Africa dating from ancient to contemporary times.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture will be built in Washington, DC in 2015. The museum has created a website to involve the public in planning a variety of exhibits and educational programs on topics such as slavery, post-Civil War reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights movement.

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

The Anacostia Community Museum is the Smithsonian Institution’s museum of African American history and culture. The Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, DC’s black history museum, offers exhibitions, educational programs, workshops, lectures, film screenings and other special events.

African American Civil War Memorial and Museum

The African American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, DC honors and examines the African American’s heroic struggle for freedom and civil rights.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, DC

Tour the beautifully restored Victorian Mansion that was the former home of Frederick Douglass, the famous abolitionist and advisor to Lincoln.

The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

Visit this Washington, DC museum and learn about the life of Mary McLeod Bethune, an African American woman educator, presidential advisor, and political activist.

Alexandria Black History Museum

Housed in a building in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia originally constructed in 1940 as a library to serve black citizens, the museum examines African-American history, art and traditions.

The Black Fashion Museum

A Washington, DC museum acknowledging the achievements of African Americans in the fashion industry.

Manassas Industrial School / Jennie Dean Memorial

A memorial park in Manassas, Virginia honoring Jennie Dean, an ex-slave who founded an industrial trade school for African American men.

Northampton Plantation Slave Quarters

This outdoor museum exhibits the rebuilt foundations of two former slave quarters of the Northampton plantation in Lake Arbor, Maryland in Prince George’s County.

Sandy Spring Slave Museum

This musuem in Montgomery County, Maryland focuses on the heritage of African Americans, participation with the Underground Railroad, and the struggle for civil rights.

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