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Southern University Museum of Art

Subject: Art

Martin L. Harvey Hall
Netterville Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70813

(225) 771-4513 | General Information
(225) 771-4513 | Reservations
(225) 771-4498 | Fax

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General Public Hours and Admission Rates: Tuesday – Friday, 10:00am – 500pm; Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm; Free, donations encouraged

School Tour Hours and Admission Rates: Tuesday – Friday, 10:00am – 500pm; Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm; Free, donations encouraged

  • Student to Chaperone Ratio Requested: 25:1
  • Number of Students per Visit: Up to 30
  • Advance Time Needed to Make Reservations: Three days
  • Suggested Length of Time for Visit: One hour
  • Handicapped Accessible: Yes
  • Grade Level Appropriate: K – 12th
  • Lunch Facilities: A cafeteria, picnic area, and fast food restaurants are on campus.
  • Gift Shop: Yes
  • Bus parking available

Tell Us About It!

The Southern University Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 2001. It is located in historic Martin L. Harvey Hall, overlooking the bluffs on the campus of Southern University. The museum holds a collection of over 2,000 pieces of African and African American art. The museum is comprised of eight galleries, a stage, and a gift shop. There are five permanent exhibits. The Voices of Freedom provides a pictorial display of personalities of the Underground Railroad through first person recitations and songs from the periods of slavery and freedom. The African art collection fills four galleries with art from the major art producing regions of Africa including Mali, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and the Congo. The African art collection includes ceremonial masks, statues, clothing, fabric, utensils, and other utilitarian artifacts. Four more galleries exhibit African American art. The Master’s Gallery displays works by such artists as Phoebe Beasley, John Biggers, and Elizabeth Catlett. Two rooms are devoted to Louisiana artists, and one gallery is reserved for faculty and student artwork.

What Can We See and Do There?

A portion of the Southern University Baton Rouge campus, which borders the Mississippi River, has been designated as a National Historic District. The 10.5-acre site includes the Archives and Information Center, Clark gravesites, ROTC buildings and the Martin L. Harvey Hall, home to the Southern University Museum of Art. Teachers planning a field trip to this museum may consider adding a campus tour to their visit. Teachers can opt to self-guide their classes through the art galleries after a brief staff introduction, or they may decide to opt for museum-trained guides who are available to lead students through the art filled rooms. A touch screen kiosk stands in the museum’s foyer that provides detailed information about the exhibits. Special presentations are planned throughout the year and are designed to complement the exhibits. Teachers should be sure to inquire about presentations by storytellers, weavers, magicians, puppeteers, and musicians.

How Do We Get There?

From I-10 west, take Exit 155B/I-110 and bear right traveling north on I-110. At Exit 5 veer left traveling west on U.S. Hwy. 190. Bear left on Swan Ave. and turn left on Local Road to the university.

Bad Weather! Now What Do We Do?

This museum experience is indoors in a climate controlled building.

Louisiana State Educational Benchmarks and Standards
  • K-4th grades: G-1B-E4; H-1A-E1-3; H-1B-E1-2; H-1C-E1, 4;
  • 5th-8th grades: G-1B-M4; H-1A-M1-6; H-1D-M1, 6;
  • 9th-12th grades: G-1B-H1, 4; H-1A-H1-6;
What Can We Do In Class Before Our Field Trip?

Check out the Southern University website. Teachers may request a pre-visit presentation for their classroom by a museum staff member. The museum will bring a few samples of art work to discuss in class. Teachers can obtain a copy of instructional materials by calling (225) 771-4513.

S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out Your Field Trip Benefits

Teachers can request an in-class presentation and the traveling exhibit of “The Voices of Freedom,” the Underground Railroad Educational Program. This program honors the legacy of courageous men and women who actively sought the preservation of human rights, the abolition of slavery, and women suffrage. Visit www.si.edu/resource/faq/art.htm for a reading list on African and African American art.


African art, African American art, Louisiana history, regional art, African American heritage, painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing


Atchafalaya National Heritage Area

• National Park Service affiliate
• "Passport to Your National Parks" Program
• Member of Alliance of National Heritage Areas
National Park Service Affiliate Louisiana Travel - Pick Your Passion Alliance of National Heritage Areas