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Finding Elma Lewis in the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections: Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists

About the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists

The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists

Established in 1969 as a division of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists is an art museum dedicated to the education, promotion, exhibition, and collection of African, Caribbean, and Afro- American fine arts worldwide.  It is one of only two Afro-American art museums in the United States, and it is the only art museum in New England dedicated exclusively to African, Caribbean, and Afro American fine arts.  The museum's collection includes prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, sculpture, and artifacts of African masks and terra cottas.

The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists has offered educational programs to promote and teach the history of Afro-American fine arts to children and adults, including a lecture series, art camps, internships, a Kids' Fair, and the Mobile Museum, an innovative educational program of the 1970s, that brought artwork to public school children.

Exhibitions have included such topics as the contemporary art of Senegal, Jamaican art, Christian art in Ethiopia, and a retrospective of Allan Rohan Crite's work. Since 1969 the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists has had an association with the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, Mass.).  Their first collaborative exhibit in 1970, Afro-American Artists: New York and Boston, was at that time the largest and most comprehensive exhibition on the work of contemporary Afro-American artists shown to the American public.  In 1980 the museum moved from 122 Elm Hill Avenue to its new location at 300 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury, Massachusetts.  In 1994 the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists opened its first permanent exhibition, Aspelta: A Nubian King's Burial Chamber.

Inside the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists records

The collection documents the administration and personnel of the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists; its active role in educating and promoting the history of African and Afro-American fine arts to children and adults; the museum's exhibitions and collection of African, Caribbean, and Afro-American fine arts; and other international, national, and local organizations related to African and Afro-American arts.  A highlight of this collection is the Acquisitions and Exhibits series which documents the process of collecting artwork and organizing and promoting the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists' exhibits.

To view a more detailed description of the collections holdings visit the: collection finding aid. 

Visual materials and materials documenting the museum's fund-raising activities, financial operations, and public relations are found in the National Center of Afro-American Artists records (M42).

Questions?

Questions about how to access the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections records? Need help getting started on your research journey?

Email us at: archives@northeastern.edu

The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists Today

The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists continues its dedication to "the celebration, exhibition, collection and criticism of Black visual arts heritage worldwide."

The Museum offers African, Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean and African American collections, an extensive slide archive, and a rich variety of education programs for young people and adults.

Although it has paused in-person visits, call (617) 442-8614 or send an e-mail to info@ncaaa.org for more information.