The Hampton University Museum virtual tour allows visitors to take a self-guided tour of the permanent and changing exhibitions. Visitors can also experience other prominent areas on the Hampton University campus, such as Legacy Park, the Memorial Chapel, and Emancipation Oak.
Founded in 1868, the Hampton University Museum is the nation’s oldest African American museum and one of the oldest museums in Virginia. With galleries dedicated to African American, African, Native American, Asian and Pacific art and artifacts. The museum contains more than 9,000 objects representing cultures and people from around the world. Within its fine arts collection is the largest existing collection of works in any museum by the artists John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence and Samella Lewis.
General Samuel Chapman Armstrong established the museum collection at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) with objects donated by his missionary mother who was living in Hawaii. The first items were Polynesian.
The Hampton University Museum brings its remarkable collection to the public through an array of educational initiatives including permanent and changing exhibitions, the Children’s Curiosity Room, the Center for African American History and Life, publications, lectures, symposia, art and teacher training workshops, school partnerships and the quarterly publication of the International Review of African American Art. The Museum’s membership and community programs offer Museum supporters an assortment of lectures, workshops and children’s programming, like Tree House. The Museum also has an active group of volunteers (HUMVs) and The Biggers’ Circle, a student support group.
The Laurel Tucker Duplessis Gift Shop is named for the artist, and former Curator at the Hampton University Museum. The development of a Gift Shop, at the Museum, was Mrs. Duplessis idea and the topic of her Hampton University Museum’s thesis for her Master of Arts in Museum Studies. The endowment to rename the Gift Shop was established by the Tucker and Duplessis Family and Friends and was unveiled April 27, 2017. The Gift Shop offers a wide assortment of hand-made crafts, jewelry, soaps, and copies of the International Review of African American Art, notecards, posters and wine. Proceeds from the Laurel Tucker Duplessis Gift Shop sales support the educational mission of the Museum.
Added bonus: Museum members enjoy a 10% discount on Gift Shop purchases.
Open Mon – Fri, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and Sat, 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Vanessa D. Thaxton-Ward
Associate Curator & Director of Membership (and) Community Programs
Assistant Editor, International Review of African-American Art
Donzella D. Maupin
Secretary, Hampton University Museum
Andreese A. Scott
Secretary, University Archives
Charles R. Allen
Curator of Collections