The Museum’s collections include fine art, African and African-American artifacts and textiles, domestics and occupational tools, photographs, documents, recordings, and books and journals. The Museum makes its holdings available for research, exhibitions, for loan to other museums, and incorporates them into its educational programs. The collections’ emphasis is on Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Museum’s efforts to collect contemporary Pennsylvanian African America artists was greatly aided by grants from the Ford Foundation. The centerpiece of the Museum’s collection is the Jack T. Franklin Photographic Collection of over 450,000 photographs documenting more than 50 years of Philadelphia’s African American social, political and economic history.
The Museum’s Education Department, working in conjunction with Exhibitions and Collections, offers age appropriate tours for schools in the tri-state area, Tuesday through Sunday, each day of the year, with the exceptions of major holidays. Tours can also be scheduled ahead time by calling the number below. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Education Department. schedules special holiday programs for family audiences and, each year, the Museum sponsors a 2-day Kwanzaa Celebration.Special programs are also prepared for martin Luther King’s Birthday and Black History Month.
The Museum offers public programming designed to complement its exhibitions. Other programming interprets the experiences of African Americans in the United States. Its programs include jazz concerts, gospel music, films, dance performances, poetry readings, storytelling, and seminars. Over the years, the Museum has become a meeting place for friends, families and scholars.
The Museum has four galleries and an auditorium, all of which are available to the public for private use. The four galleries, ranging in size from 960 square feet to 2,484 square feet, are all excellent spaces for receptions, corporate events, seminars, organizational meetings, and weddings. The Museum also has barrier free access.
The Museum receives funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia, as well as major foundations and corporations: The Ford Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, Mobil Oil, PECO Energy, the William Penn Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Philadelphia Foundation, Rohm & Haas, Seagram’s Gin, and the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Jazz Network.
The Museum is open six days a week: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM.