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Explore the Constellation

NMAAHC’s Design Honors History



​​Historic Black craftsmanship inspired the NMAAHC’s iconic design.​

The standout exterior design features of the National Museum of African American History and Culture symbolizes the collective artistry of craftspeople throughout the African Diaspora. The bronze-colored metal latticework that envelopes the building pays homage to the intricate ironworks crafted by enslaved African Americans in Louisiana and South Carolina.

The light reflected from the bronze-colored lattice serves as a beacon that reminds us of what we were, what challenges we still face, and what we may hope to become. As Lonnie G. Bunch III, the Museum's founding director has described it, “this building will sing for all of us.”