History

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The New Orleans African American Museum of Art, History and Culture (NOAAM)

was founded in 1996 under the guidance and extensive support of the City of New Orleans Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development.

NOAAM is located in the Tremé section of New Orleans, a neighborhood that was home to the nation’s largest, most prosperous and politically progressive community of black people by the mid-1850s. 

In the 18th century, the land was occupied by the Morand Plantation and brickyard, which was later acquired by hat maker and real estate developer Claude Tremé. In 1810, Tremé sold the land to the city of New Orleans, and it became home to many free persons of color. Congo Square, was a gathering place for free persons and slaves to gather, play music, and sell goods. 

Tremé is unique in its architecture, it’s streets are a gumbo of double shotgun houses, Creole cottages and townhouses. An excellent example of Creole architecture is the Meilleur-Goldthwaire House, a villa built in 1828 which makes up part of the NOAAM campus. The New Orleans African American Museum is situated near the St. Augustine Church, one of the oldest African-American Catholic parishes in the nation, and two other museums that center black culture and contribution: the Backstreet Cultural Museum and Tremé’s Petit Jazz Museum.

We look forward to welcoming you to the New Orleans African American Museum!