Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

#3 in Best Things To Do in Detroit
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History picture
Girl.in.the.D/Flickr

Key Info

315 East Warren Avenue

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

This large museum, named for its founder Charles Wright, tells the story of the African American experience from the beginning of time to the presidency of Barack Obama. Opened in 1965, the museum welcomes guests to it 125,000 square feet of both permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as a library and theater.

Recent visitors said a trip to this museum is a moving experience, with many suggesting you budget a few hours to make your way through its permanent and temporary exhibits. Many reviewers said this museum belongs on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., because of its superior caliber. Travelers were especially impressed with the "And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture" permanent exhibit, which spans 20 galleries. Though most said this museum is a must-see for families, some visitors cautioned that parts of the museum can be hard for children to see due to the graphic nature of some exhibits.

You'll find the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in the heart of the Wayne State University campus, near the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Michigan Science Center. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the museum is also open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays, except during Black History Month (February), when the museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $8; both seniors and kids are charged $5. For more information, visit the website.

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#1 Detroit Institute of the Arts

Arguably one of the city's foremost cultural destinations, the Detroit Institute of Arts dates back to 1885, but the beaux-arts building (referred to as the "temple of art")  that it now resides in opened in 1927. The institute is huge, comprising more than 100 galleries, a 1,150-seat auditorium and a 380-seat lecture hall. And its permanent collection is extensive: On its walls are Diego Rivera's "Detroit Industry" fresco and Vincent Van Gogh's "Self Portrait" painting, among other works. The institute also hosts events like Friday Night Live! concerts and Art + Authors book discussions.

For many visitors, a visit to the DIA was a highlight of their Detroit trip, with some calling it a "national gem." Though many were initially drawn because of the museum's Diego Rivera collection, reviewers said they were satisfied with every part of the DIA, especially the temporary exhibits. Visitors also praised the staff, which they said were friendly and helpful.

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Courtesy the Detroit Institute of Arts
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