Current & Upcoming Exhibitions

All exhibitions are free with museum admission


And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture

Permanent Exhibition

This unique, long-term exhibition serves as the central experience of The Wright Museum. The 22,000 square-foot exhibition space contains more than 20 galleries that allow patrons to travel over time and across geographic boundaries. The journey begins in Africa, the cradle of human life.  Witness several ancient and early modern civilizations that evolved on the continent.  Cross the Atlantic Ocean, experience the tragedy of the middle passage and encounter those... Click here to read more »

In the Paint

In the Paint: Art, Athletics, and the Spirit of the Games

June 2 - September 6, 2016

For the first four decades of competition, starting in 1912, the modern Olympics awarded official medals for painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, and music. Juries awarded a total of 151 medals for original works between 1912 and 1948. The idea, taken from the Greek concept of the true Olympian, originated with the founder of the International Olympic Committee Pierre de Coubertin who believed that the summation of athletics and arts embodied humanity. Click here to read more »

Collect: The Power of Knowing

Collect: The Power of Knowing

October 31, 2015 - January 17, 2017

Curated by Dr. Cledie Collins Taylor, Collect: The Power of Knowing honors art collectors who have preserved and shown us works that we may not have seen on our own, especially art from the continent of Africa. The works show evidence of our creativity from the distant past to our current times. Included are traditional African pieces like the Mende helmet mask from the Edsel and Shirley Woodson Reid Collection, new schools of art from Africa — that are not about tradition but about expression — such as Prince Twins Seven-Seven’s painting from the collection of Modell Cheatham... Click here to read more »


Samella Lewis: An American Art Icon

April 28 - September 18, 2016

How does one earn the title “American Art Icon?” To achieve such an honor, we have only to look at the life and accomplishments of Samella Lewis, Ph.D., whose influence on African American art and culture has been so immense that her impact is yet to be determined. During her long and still active career, she has worked as an artist, art historian, educator, scholar, author, publisher, filmmaker, museum founder, art administrator, curator, gallerist, art collector, wife, mother, and much more.... Click here to read more »


Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology

Permanent Exhibition

This comprehensive, high-tech exhibition highlights trailblazers, contemporaries and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. African Americans have contributed to the scientific and engineering output of the United States since the 17th century, and this history is brought to life through interactive computer kiosks, a touchscreen video wall, and hands-on activities and play areas teaching basic engineering concepts. Four disciplines of scientific advancement are explored: Physical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, and Technology & Engineering... Click here to read more »

Empirical / Satirical

Empirical / Satirical: The Art of Cedric Henry and Byron Reed

April 7 - July 31, 2016

The Wright Museum is proud to present its newest contemporary artists exhibition, Empirical / Satirical: The Art of Cedric Henry and Byron Reed. Empirical / Satirical features the work of cartoonist, Cedric Henry, and painter, Byron Reed who both use satire to explore the politics and day-to-day life of their communities. Repeat visits will help the viewer realize the many meanings layered within these multi-faceted works. Click here to read more »


A is for Africa

Ongoing Exhibition

Twenty-six interactive stations make up a three-dimensional "dictionary" designed for children from pre-school through fourth grade in A is for Africa. Organized by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, this long-term installation introduces young visitors to an array of interesting persons, places, events, ideas, foods and objects important to understanding the histories and cultures of Africa. While focusing on young children, those who are older will certainly find this activity enjoyable... Click here to read more »


Ring of Genealogy

Ongoing Exhibition

Located on the floor of the Ford Freedom Rotunda, is Genealogy, a work designed by artist Hubert Massey. The creation depicts the struggles of African Americans in this country. Each figure is symbolic of an experience, from slavery to present day violence, the hunger for knowledge, the importance of spirituality and the upward mobility of African Americans. Surrounding this 37-foot floor are bronze nameplates of prominent African Americans in history. Each year new names are added to this Ring of Genealogy... Click here to read more »


Stories in Stained Glass: The Art of Samuel A. Hodge

Ongoing Exhibition

The works of art included in this long-term installation focus on three areas of African American culture and history. The Musicians celebrates everyday people who have exercised their right to interpret the world as they see it through songs and instruments. Dance and Dancers on the other hand, honors those artists who use their bodies as the medium to express non-verbal emotions, themes and ideas. And Freedom Advocates is dedicated to notable African Americans who fought and died to ensure dignity and freedom for themselves and their people... Click here to read more »


Detroit Performs!

Ongoing Exhibition

The museum is pleased to present Detroit Performs!, a photomontage dedicated to those who gained national and often international prominence in the performing arts. Although a majority of these artists moved here from other regions, especially the south, they claimed Detroit as their own, usually crediting it as the place where they honed their skills. Many of these innovators, John Lee Hooker, Tommy Flanagan and Mattie Moss Clark among them, put unique spins on existing art forms such as blues, jazz and gospel... Click here to read more »

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