Altria Awards $1 Million to Museum of African-American History

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has announced a $1 million gift from the Altria Group in support of a capital campaign for the new museum.

The gift from the tobacco and consumer goods giant will support construction of the Smithsonian Institution's nineteenth museum on a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument. The projected cost of the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum, which is slated to open in 2016, is more than $500 million. Items in the museum’s collection include a Jim Crow railroad car (c. 1922); an open cockpit biplane used to train the famed Tuskegee Airmen for Army Air Corps service during World War II; a slave cabin from a plantation on Edisto Island, South Carolina; Louis Armstrong’s Selmer trumpet; and works of art by Charles Alston, John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, and Lorna Simpson.

"We are honored to have the support of Altria Group as we move into the final phase of construction," said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the museum. "As the building takes shape in the nation's capital, Altria is helping us create a groundswell of excitement and pride for a museum with an unprecedented mission: to tell America’s story through the lens of the African-American experience."

"Altria Group Donates $1 Million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture." National Museum of African American History and Culture Press Release 07/31/2014.