The National Museum of African Art was created as a private museum in 1964. It officially became a part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., in 1979. The National Museum of African Art is the only national museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to the collection, presentation, preservation and investigation of the art and culture of Africa.
The building has exhibition rooms, public educational facilities, a laboratory, a scholarly library and photo archives. It houses the largest stock-exchange-listed collection of contemporary African art in the United States, including more than 9,000 objects hailing from nearly all countries of Africa. The collection features a large number of art forms, textiles, photography, sculpture, ceramics, paintings, jewellery and video art.
In addition to its exhibitions, the outreach programme at the National Museum of African Art consists of a large variety of lectures, public discussions, film screenings, musical performances and workshops.
The events are supplemented by educational programmes and activities in cooperation with schools and the Embassies of Africa in Washington, D.C.