Photos | Artifacts from Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture
Money box that belonged to the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, Bishop Richard Allen. The rectangular box is flat on all sides with a flat bottom. It has a slightly domed top with a horizontal 1 7/8" slot in the center. The brass handle on the top is joined to the box by flat circular disks on either side of the slot. The top of the box is a hinged lid, attached in the back with two hinges. The box is constructed of wood and covered in dark, reddish-brown leather. There is a metal locking mechanism nailed to the front of the box, with a hinged piece that fits into a slot on the lock attached to the center front of the lid. Brass nails with circular heads are lined along the edges of the lid and front and back edges. Smaller brass nails surround the bottom edge of the box and side panels. There is a rectangular piece of off-white, discolored paper adhered to the center of the bottom of the box.
Shantung silk jacket (redesigned in 1993) and black velvet skirt worn by Marian Anderson, 1939 Collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Ginette DePreist in memory of James DePreist
Jumpsuit worn by Diahann Carroll as the character Julia Baker on the television show "Julia." The jumpsuit is a halter with a large bow in the front and wide legs. The halter top has two (2) wide straps and fastens at the back neck with a metal hook on the proper right strap. (The eye on the proper left strap is missing.) An oversized bow with long tails is sewn to the center front of the jumpsuit. There is a center seam going down the front of the jumpsuit that continues down the inside of each pant leg. The pants are wide-legged and flare at the bottom. The bodice of the jumpsuit is backless with a U-shape around the lower back. The jumpsuit closes with a metal zipper that begins at the center lower back and is approximately 4 1/2 inches long. There are two pieces of boning covered in the pink crepe sewn to the interior of the jumpsuit on the proper right and proper left sides below the armholes. They are attached at the top but not at the bottom. The jumpsuit is not lined.
Everlast Worldwide, Inc.
Bucket-style hat designed by Mae Reeves made from clear plastic mesh formed into a high round crown and a short round brim. Pale blue and white plastic straw is woven into the mesh in a striped pattern. A pale blue tulle hat band is tied into a knot with a pouf on the proper right side of the hat with the two ends left long as streamers, one being very long and extending below the wearer's shoulder. Beneath the tulle is a second hat band of pale blue grosgrain ribbon with a flat bow made of the plastic mesh tied at the proper right side. The ribbon and mesh band is now completely obscured by the tulle. An ivory fabric designer label with black printed text is adhered to the center back interior of the hat that reads: "Mae Reeves / OF / PHILADELPHIA".
French Croix de Guerre medal received by Lawrence McVey. A cross-shaped medal with attachments resembling crossed swords hanging from a green-and-red striped ribbon. The ribbon has a star-shaped pin in it. The medal is from WWI and was sometimes awarded to American individuals or military units.
The medal (.1a) consists of a gold five pointed star, each point tipped with trefoils, surrounded by a green laurel wreath and suspended from a gold bar inscribed [VALOR], surmounted by an eagle. In the center of the star is Minerva’s head surrounded by the words [UNITED STATES OF AMERICA]. On each ray of the star is a green oak leaf. On the recto, the bar is engraved with [THE CONGRESS TO] with [SGT/CORNELIUS H./CHARLTON/CO C. 24TH INF REGT/25TH INF DIV.USA] engraved on the star. The neck ribbon (.1b) is blue silk with two snaps on either end for the wearer to attach the ribbon around his neck. The center of the ribbon is covered in blue silk with 13 white stars.
A purple silk banner with gold fringe created for the Oklahoma Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. The message "LIFTING / AS / WE CLIMB" is painted across the banner in large gold letters. Above the words is a painted design of three interlocking triangles, the center of which is filled with the two on either side in outline. The bottom of the banner is scalloped and has an attached length of fringe. The top of the banner has a sewn loop running its length for a rod (2010.2.1b) to be inserted. There is a strip of gold fringe sewn just below this loop. The rod is currently stored in place in the banner. It is painted gold at the ends and has a dowel inserted at the end of the PL side with a hole for a dowel on the PR side.
"Men of Color" Recruitment Broadside, Frederick Douglass, et al., 1863, Printing ink on rag paper, H: 95 x W: 49 x D: 3 in. Studio photograph by NASM Photographer Eric Long, February 26, 2013, at 3400 Pennsy Drive, Washington, DC. Credit: Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (2012.133)
A cream silk faille dress with embroidered floral appliqué decorations designed by Ann Lowe. The dress has a bodice with cap sleeves, a scoop neck front, and a deep scoop neck back. Shaping of the bodice and waist is created with princess seams, but there is no waistline seam. The skirt is shaped round and very full, with some additional fullness at the hips. The dress is decorated throughout with machine-embroidered cream and pink flowers with green leaves. The embroidery is stitched to the dress at the neckline, the center back seam to the back waist of the bodice, and in six large sprays to the skirt at the front left, proper left, back left, back right, proper right, and front right. Two lengths of cream silk faille are pleated and attached at back waist to create streamers that reach to the hemline of the skirt. The streamers are decorated with small machine embroidered pink flowers that are basted by hand to the fabric. The dress closes with a zipper running from the top of the center back bodice to center back below the waist. The interior of the bodice is lined with cream fabric. In the front and back of the bodice, boning is sewn at regular intervals to provide structure and shaping. Individual breast cups are shaped into the cut of the garment. A thin piece of elastic, attached in three places at the proper left, center front and proper right, provides support underneath the bust line. A wider elastic band is tacked at the center front and closes in the center back with two hook-and-eyes to provide further bust support. An interior waistband of cream grosgrain ribbon is tacked to the interior waistline and closes at the center back. Lengths of thin elastic are sewn over the tops of the shoulders to keep the sleeves in place. The interior of the skirt is unlined and has one petticoat. The petticoat is made of a cream faille lined with heavy linen. The petticoat is hemmed with ruched cream tulle and edged with stiffener. It attaches to the waist at the cen
Large letterpress playbill for the Theatre Royal in Newcastle featuring the performances of the black Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge in "Othello" and "The Slave". Aldridge is the only actor of African-American descent among the 33 actors of the English stage honored with bronze plaques at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. He was especially popular in Prussia and Russia, where he received top honors from heads of state. He passed away in Poland.
A sectional leather couch or sofa used on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The couch is upholstered in a light yellow leather. The couch curves in a semi-circular shape. Two (2) of the sections are for sitting, the proper right (.1ab) and the proper left (.3ab), while the center section is topped with a table top on which Winfrey and her guests could place cups and other items (.2ab). .1ab: The proper right piece of of a 3-piece curved sectional leather couch, used by Oprah Winfrey at Harpo Studios. Square end couch piece with rounded edges. Back is taller on PR side and slopes downward towards the PL. Heavier padding on the back panel, much smaller on the PR armrest side. Armrest gives appearance of curving away from the couch. Square seat cushion, same yellow upholstery, velcroed in place on the main seat of the section of couch. Underside of the seat cushion is a different tan fabric, and zips open. Two metal wedges, one on the front and one on the back of the PL side, underneath, connecting the 3 overall couch pieces together. Four feet, on each edge of the couch, are wood, painted yellow, and taper towards the bottom. Slightly worn around the front of the PR armrest. .2ab - The center piece of a 3-piece curved sectional leather couch, used by Oprah Winfrey at Harpo Studios. Triangle/wedge central couch piece with rounded back edges. Back is rounded into an arch, tallest at the center. Heavier padding on the back panel, and no armrests. Wedge-shaped seat cushion, same yellow upholstery, sits in place on the main seat of the section of couch, not attached. Underneath cushion is a triangle shaped wooden top (when cushion removed, used as a table/drink rest in the center of the two outside couch pieces). Middle of the seat cushion sides is a different tan fabric, and zips open. Two metal forks, set on a swivel, one on the front and one on the back of the PR side, underneath, connecting the overall couch pieces together. The forks have tines with teeth ridges on the inside
A large gray carved marble Calc-silicate shist stone with a flattened top and bottom, squared back and sides, and a rounded front used as a slave auction block in Hagerstown, Maryland. A rectangular metal plaque is screwed to the top of the stone, with embossed text reading “GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON / AND HENRY CLAY / SPOKE FROM THIS SLAVE BLOCK / IN HAGERSTOWN / DURING THE YEAR 1830.”
A collection of glass shards collected from the gutter outside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, at the funeral of the four girls killed in the bombing.
Vest worn by Jimi Hendrix
An engraved powder horn with stopper. The ox horn is carved with images of a dove carrying a banner reading "LIBERTY," a deer, the sun with a face, and a pine tree. An intricate design featuring eyes encircles the outer edge of the horn.
A Southern Railway No. 1200 heavyweight passenger coach with segregated compartments. The sides of the car are green with yellow or gold lettering, with  appearing on both ends of both sides of the car, and [SOUTHERN] printed on both sides of the car above the windows. The roof of the car is black, as are the underframe, air brakes, and pipes.
Brass trumpet owned by Louis Armstrong, signed "Henri Selmer Paris DŽposŽ Grands Prix GenŽve 1927 Liege 1930 H. Selmer 4 Place Dancourt PARIS Made in France" "Louis Armstrong" Mouthpiece engraved: "Mt. Vernon N.Y. 7E VINCE"; Object Number Trumpet TR2008-32.1; mouthpiece TR2008-32.2
The slave-made wooden cradle consists of 5 wooden boards nailed together to form a five-sided bed with open top on 2 rockers. The long sides are sloped, and the short sides have a rounded top edge.
This gown and petticoat are part of a costume worn by Mabel King as Evillene in "The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical 'Wizard of Oz'" on Broadway. The floor-length gown (a) is made from a black synthetic fiber and has a bejeweled open-neck bodice, puffed sleeves, decorative eyes covering the bosom, and a very full skirt with a purple and deep rose ruffled trim and a slight train. The petticoat (b) is made of a multi-layered black synthetic taffeta. The bodice of the dress has a sweetheart neckline, with two (2) thick shoulder straps edged with black velvet. A triangular panel of brown net is attached at the center front bodice, wrapping around the neck to the proper back. This net is decorated with red and black rhinestones, black tape with beaded fringe, gold beaded paillettes, and a single black beaded bobble at the center front. Affixed to the front of the bodice are two (2) large eyes with eyelids and eyelashes. The eyes are made of clear hard plastic, lined with undyed muslin. At the center of each eye, between the muslin and the plastic, a black plastic disk is attached depicting the pupil, and a red rhinestone is sewn to the inside corner of each eye, depicting the tear duct. The bottoms of the eyes are edged with black velvet ribbon. The eyelids are made of black spandex, edged with black plastic eyelashes. Fishing line is attached at the center bottom of each eyelid and strung throught the velvet eyeball edging and under the dress's black velvet waistband. Below the waistband are short lengths black nylon braid with pom-poms attached at the end; when these pom-poms are pulled, the eyelids close partially over the eyeballs. Each sleeve is made of multiple layers of black tulle gathered into a large puff and ending at the elbow. The sleeves are attached to the bodice at the front and back underarm, left open to reveal the shoulders. The sleeves are attached with elastic black cord at the top of each shoulder. Two black yarn pom-poms attach to each sleeve at the
A United States passport (.1) issued to James Arthur Baldwin on August 2, 1965. There is a photograph of Baldwin and multiple immigration stamps with dates ranging from 1965-1968 on the third page. The word [CANC'L'D] is hole punched through the front cover. Two extra passport photographs (.2 and .3) are included with the passport.
This movie poster from "The Exile" depicts a man and woman in a close embrace. Standing against a grey-blue background, the man, wearing a tan coat, stands sideways to the viewer. He has his arms around a young woman in a pink pattered dress and white collar. Standing sideways to the viewer, she rests her hands on the man's chest. Above their head are the words "Mighty modern ALL TALKING epic of Negro life/ THE EXILE/ with a cast of colored stars ------ Adopted from/'The Conquest'/ written and directed Oscar Micheaux." At the bottom left corner are the words "Distributed by/ Fayette Picture/ Corporation." There is a wide white margin around the edge of the poster.
Point of Pines Slave Cabin Prior to the Dismantling Process
Silver and ebony flute bearing a gold engraved nameplate reading Made For Blind Tom By Wm. R. Meinell, New York., with Meinell's stamp on the ebony as well. Housed in the original velvet-lined leather case.
Sun Sheinberg/Sportswear by Sheinberg
Handmade tin box carried by Joseph Trammell to prove his free status (1852)
A rectangular block of sandstone. One short side of the block has a smooth, finished surface. The other five sides are rough-hewn and pitted, showing evidence of quarry tool markings, softened by weathering. One of the long sides has mechanical tool markings across the surface, forming a cross-hatch pattern. The block predominantly is beige, with reddish-brown veins of color running lengthwise. The smooth side shows most clearly the variegation of reddish-brown strata. There is a loss at the lower-left corner of the smooth side.
This dress is a wrap style made from a plain weave viscose fabric with a printed design of dark brown and yellow flowers and leaves. The wrap effect is achieved by crossing the front bodice at the waist seam and gathered fabric on the proper left side of the waist. The skirt is flaired with six (6) gores and three pleats in the skirt at the center front add further to the wrap effect. The set-in full length sleeves are gathered at a 1 1/4" cuff that closes with two metal snaps. The dress has a small shawl collar and a v-neck. The dress closes at the proper left side waist with a zipper. It is unlined, and the seams are pressed open with raw edges exposed. It is machine-sewn except for the hem, which is turned up 2 inches and hand stitched. There are two belt loops made of a thin yellow braid, one at each side seam, which hold the accompanying belt (b) in place. The belt (b) is made from the same fashion fabric as the dress, with a plain weave beige fabric backing. The front and back of the belt are machine stitched around the edge, and a layer of interfacing beteen them provides some stiffening. The belt has an oval-shaped metal single-prong buckle covered in the dark brown and yellow floral fabric, and five (5) white grommets on the opposite end of the belt for an adjustable closure.
A pair of warm up track suit jacket and pants worn by Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
This oil painting depicts a landscape scene. Numerous trees, including palm trees, frame the image on the left and right. The center of the image is an open clearing with a small stream running through a meadow covered with greenery and flowers. Further back into the painting the clearing opens up into a wide meadow. There are two small nude human figures on the right side of the meadow. Beyond the meadow is a lake fed by a waterfall. In the background is a single conical mountain.
A miniature pair of shackles used as a protective amulet by the Lobi tribe of West Africa. The bronze shackles consist of a pair of loops linked to a single bolt. There is a third loop at the top of the amulet. The bronze is covered with a dark patina.
Benjamin Banneker's Almanack and Ephemeris for the Year of Our Lord, 1793
A series of gelatin silver prints of the 1927 flooding of the Mississippi River. Eight individual 8x10 images create a panoramic view of a refugee camp.
A green velvet dress worn by Lena Horne in the film "Stormy Weather" (1943). The dress has a gathered waist, buckle-back, and ermine collar. It was worn by Horne as "Selina Rogers" in the dressing-room scene with actor Bill Robinson.
Off-white blazer featuring an embroidered American shield over crossed tennis racquets
Ecuadorian boat seat with spider web design
The rescue basket is constructed almost entirely of welded type 304 stainless steel. The bail assembly folds into the basket for compact stowage. The structural integrity of the bail is provided by ¼" stainless steel cable acting as the hinge point. The bottom is enclosed with a plastic, semi-rigid net liner with 1" openings. The float covers are constructed of 1050 denier nylon ballistic cloth with a marine urethane coating. Each cover is printed with safety pictorials and has high intensity retro-reflective markings.
Charles Young itinerary from Wilberforce, OH to Washington, DC
This costume is comprised of two (2) pieces, a gown and an accompanying headdress, worn by Dee Dee Bridgewater as the character Glinda in the Broadway production of "The Wiz".
Period slave photograph
A small Bible, missing it's front cover. Front page: Leviticus 4:32 through Leviticus 6:2
A silver plated beverage service including three (3) unmatched pieces, a pot for tea or coffee (.1), a sugarbowl with lid (.2), and creamer (.3) used at Wormley's Hotel in Washington, DC.