The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture opened on June 25, 2005 and is named after Reginald F. Lewis (1942-1993), entrepreneur and philanthropist, who served as chair and chief executive officer of TLC Beatrice International, the largest U.S. company owned by an African American during his lifetime. The largest African American museum on the East Coast, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum brings Maryland to the world through its extensive permanent collection, and the world to Maryland through its educational programs and special exhibitions.
- The 82,000 square-foot facility accommodates over 13,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibition space, a two-story theater, resource center, museum gift shop, café, classrooms, meeting rooms, an outdoor terrace, and reception areas. Several of the museum’s spaces, including the upper lobby reception area, are available for special events and meetings.
- The museum provides dynamic educational programs for both children and adults and is especially proud of its partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education. The museum’s education department has developed curricula and provided teacher training to reach more than 850,000 students and 50,000 teachers.
- The museum allows for a substantial increase in the number and quality of objects collected, and encourages the study and enjoyment of collections by scholars, students, and the general public.
- The museum provides an important venue to share Maryland’s African American history two blocks east of one of the state’s most popular attractions, the Baltimore Inner Harbor.
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum has three permanent galleries on its third floor that highlight ordinary and extraordinary African American heroes in Maryland. They include:
- Building Maryland, Building America explores three major types of work in which free and enslaved people of African descent engaged: work on the water, tobacco cultivation, and iron working. These endeavors were essential to building the colony, and later, state of Maryland.
- Things Hold, Lines Connect shows how African American families and community organizations provided comfort and support in the face of oppression, while creating environments in which resistance to oppression could be planned and nurtured.
- The Strength of the Mind features stories about the creative spirit of Maryland African Americans by focusing on their accomplishments in the arts and education.
In addition to its permanent exhibition galleries, the museum features a variety of special exhibitions highlighting African American stories from various regions in the United States, and throughout the African Diaspora.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
Address: 830 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: 443-263-1800 (phone)
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