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Securing Our Legacy

To make a Museum Donation, chose DONATE then go to Campaign and select University Museum.

A gift to the Hampton University Museum helps support the arts, history and education.  Your contribution helps to fund changing exhibitions, special programs, national juried art shows, lectures, staffing needs, support for school buses, camps and special initiatives. The Museum offers three ways for you to give your support:

Become a Friend of the Museum

With more than 9500 objects (art and artifacts) including an unparalleled African American fine arts collection, the Hampton University Museum is nationally acclaimed. Founded in 1868, it is the nation’s oldest African American museum and one of the two oldest in Virginia. Its holdings represent the first assemblage of African art collected by an African American, and it is the first institution to establish a collection of African American artists. Since relocating to the historic Huntington Building in 1997, the Museum has more gallery space and is also the home of the University Archives. It features two floors of spacious exhibition galleries, an educational classroom, a teacher’s resource center, and a comfortable reading room in the University Archives.

The Museum also has an expanded Museum Store that sells publications, posters from select pieces and hand crafted items from America, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Your membership will help to reach and teach America’s future generations and will help maintain this legacy.

Your gift helps ensure we can offer a rich mix of school tours, events, and public programs. Your donation allows us to showcase the Hampton University Museum. Various opportunities exist to support the museum’s programs, events and exhibitions.

In 1991 the Friends group started with 100 Founding Members who encouraged ten personal friends to join.  Your contribution helps to sustain Hampton’s Standard of Excellence.

Memberships are available for as little as $25 per year (individual membership) and entitles one to a 10% discount in the Museum Shop, special member events and programs. Our membership categories are named for Friends in the Arts that are artists or historic figures associated with the Hampton University Collection. To review our membership benefits, please see the tabs below or download our membership brochure (1.81mb Adobe PDF). Individuals interested in becoming a member are invited to contact:

Crystal Johnson
Associate Curator and Director of Membership & Community Programs
Hampton University Museum
Hampton, VA 23668

Freedom Fighters Exhibtion
The Greater Williamsburg Women's Association
Student Open Mic Event
Student Open Mic Event
Director's Tea
Elizabeth Catlett Reception
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Friends of the Museum Benefits

Become a Sponsor

Whether yours is a small business or national corporation, a civic/social organization your donation/sponsorship is crucial.


Your gift helps ensure we can offer a rich mix of school tours, events, and public programs. Your donation allows us to showcase the Hampton University Museum. Various opportunities exist to support the museum’s programs, events and exhibitions. Sponsors receive special recognition on-site, as well as on related marketing and promotional materials.

Elizabeth Catlett and Dr. Samella Lewis

Become a Hampton University Museum Volunteer (HUMV)

Join an amazing group of volunteers who work as docents, guides and greeters in the oldest African American museum in the United States and one of the oldest museums in Virginia.  Surrounded by over 9,500 objects a Hampton University Museum Volunteer is helping to secure the legacy in perpetuity.

To become a HUMV you need to:

  • Have an interest in art and history
  • Be enthusiastic, friendly and dependable.
  • Submit a completed application
  • Attend an interview to help us find the best job for you
  • Be able to attend required training so you can do your best
  • Our gift of appreciation to you will be excellent museum fringe benefits
  • Call 757.727.5508 or email Vanessa Thaxton-Ward
Join the Biggers’ Circle

A Student Membership Program:  Serve as a Student Ambassador for the Hampton University Museum



The Biggers’ Circle is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the students experience with the Hampton University Museum through student initiated programming, volunteerism, and community outreach.  For only $10.00 (Biggers’ Circle T-Shirt) you can receive the following benefits:

  • Interaction with a diverse body of Hampton students
  • The opportunity to aide in the promotion of cultural enrichment at the Museum
  • 10% Discount in Museum Shop
  • Group Travel Opportunities
  • Community Service Hours

We have selected the name Biggers’ Circle in honor of Dr. John Thomas Biggers.  Painter, sculptor, printmaker, muralist, educator and author, John Biggers came to Hampton Institute in 1941 where he was inspired to pursue a career in art.  Biggers’ art is collected privately and by many of American’s most distinguished museums.


Dr. John Biggers is among the best known and most renowned American artist.  Dr. Biggers’ was Hampton University’s Artist-in-Residence for the 1990-91 academic year when he painted Tree House and House of the Turtle for the William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library.  Dr. Biggers’ died January 2001.


For more information on joining the Biggers’ Circle call 757.727.5508 or 757.727.5980.  Open to Hampton University students