African American Museum in Philadelphia

Last week I visited the African American Museum in Philadelphia which specializes in Philadelphian African American History. Before we begin, I would like to warn you that I had an emotionally complicated experience at this museum.

Now that you are prepared...

The permanent galleries were almost insulting; all the material in the first and second galleries were dumbed down to the point of no return. It is obvious the museum's primary goal is to cater to a very young audience (that's great!), but they completely disregarded the adult's experience. Let's keep in mind that the child will most likely have an adult accompany them throughout these galleries-- why can't we be part of the fun too? As I was walking through the first half of the museum, my standards for the next few galleries rapidly lowered. I was anticipating more poorly curated spaces with experiences like I encountered in the other galleries (benches way too close to video screens).

Instead I encountered a pleasant surprise! Upon walking into the AMMP's special exhibition space I was immediately engaged. "Come See About Me"  is on view in galleries 3 & 4  and its about on the Supremes (only the "world's most famous female trio"[1]). The exhibition includes original posters, magazines, performance videos, and (drum roll please) original gowns from the Mary Wilson collection. Not only is it the largest Supremes' gown collection in the country, the dresses are also owned by Mary Wilson, one of the founding members of the Supremes! Awesome, right? Unfortunately photography is not permitted in the special exhibition galleries, but hey that give you even more incentive to go! Check it out, but do me a favor and skip over the second floor gallery unless you are planning on bringing a few youngsters.

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them below :)

[1] "Dare to Dream", Accessed 7/6/13,