Banneker Douglass Museum
In 1816, the town of Annapolis, Maryland, founded itself as the new capital city. The government was built and by 1826, with lots of newly-developed space, it became a great place to live. However, there wasn’t much going on culturally. Many residents were limited to traveling ten miles to see a performance at the main theatre in town or over an hour-long ferry ride just for shopping at a small general store. It was time for something new... The Banneker Douglass Museum is home to a community-based museum that celebrates the past, present and future of our region through art and culture. It is located at 84 Franklin St, Annapolis, MD 21401. Here we share artifacts that inspire us, educate us and entertain us so we may enrich one another's lives in diverse ways. Here you will find: A collection of African American artifacts from the mid 19th century onward including household goods; clothing; books; photographs; poetry; paintings; prints; posters and other visual representations. Browse around this site
The museum's history
The Banneker Douglass Museum began as a series of events held in the historic Douglass House on the corner of Main and East streets. The Douglass House, with its beautiful, colonial architecture, was the perfect setting to host a variety of programs that showcased African American art and culture, including art exhibits and lectures. In the summer of 2001, the Douglass House, which had served as a community center for many years, was sold and the building was demolished. The Douglass House was a central part of the community and its loss was felt by many. Fortunately, the museum was able to purchase the former Douglass House building and, after a few years of renovations, it reopened in the summer of 2006. Since then, we have continued to grow and evolve, adding additional programming and offerings, while always keeping our main focus on providing a space where people can learn, connect and be inspired.
What makes the Banneker Douglass Museum unique?
A museum with a mission: We believe art and culture are essential components of an educated, multicultural society. Our goal is to use this space as an incubator for creativity, an outlet for expression and an educational tool for our community. Our intention is to provide a place where people can connect with one another and feel inspired. A diverse collection: While we are a museum in the African American tradition, we also aim to be a place where all people from our region can come and experience their culture. We are also committed to telling the stories of other regions and cultures. Space for the community: We aim to be a place that doesn’t just serve the Annapolis community, but all of Prince George’s County through programming and outreach. We want to be a place that is accessible to all, especially those with low-incomes.
See our current collections
African American Crafts and Skills: This section of the museum explores the rich history of African American artisans and the use of materials to create functional pieces such as furniture, quilts, clothing and home decorations. The section also features interactive pieces that demonstrate how to make these goods. African American Food and Drink: This section explores the historical and cultural significance of African American foods and beverages. It also features interactive pieces that demonstrate how to make these goods. African American Art and Culture: This section explores the rich history of African American artists and the use of art as a vehicle for expression and social commentary. The section also features interactive pieces that demonstrate how to create art using the materials found in this section.
Our goal: Where we're headed next
We have a lot of great ideas for strengthening the museum’s programming and making the museum even more accessible and inclusive. We hope to create a place that is welcoming to all people, cultures and ideas, a space that is inspirational and aspirational, accessible and inclusive. We want to create a space where people feel inspired to be creative and participate in the community. As we move forward, we want to continue to create programming that is diverse, accessible and inclusive. We also want to continue to grow our community outreach program, expanding the museum’s reach to other sections of the county. Finally, we are committed to creating a financially sustainable organization that can sustain itself for generations to come. A great place to visit
The Banneker Douglass Museum is a unique place that celebrates the history of African Americans in the region. It’s also a great place to meet new people, learn new things and feel inspired. It’s a great place to visit, even if you aren’t black or African American. It’s also a great place to volunteer, participate in community outreach or donate to the museum. The museum is free, so there’s no excuse not to visit. The Banneker Douglass Museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.