The National Black Doll Museum has 5,000 square feet filled with dolls of color on exhibit in every way, shape form and fashion you may imagine seeing them. Diversity and inclusion is brilliantly on display. The dolls will appeal to everyone. Museum staff also receives orders for their diversity and sensitivity workshops that use multicultural dolls with participants who may be corporate employees, the incarcerated or young students.
These dolls get around and there are thousands of them! Adults will rapidly connect their childhood memory of playing with dolls when they tour the exhibits. Paper cut-out dolls, the Barbie Dolls, Susie Homemaker; the other dolls you knew, Black dolls made by one of several Black doll manufacturers ( who are all represented at NBDM) that some of us were lucky to own back in the day, are there. You’ll see life-sized dolls who are instantly recognizable pop icons, or they may be Wakanda citizens or American heroes. The museum has welcomed specialty dollmakers and collectors from around the world and some of their work is being displayed.
Kids can see and learn about dolls that had a huge impact on popular books and stories parents are reading to them today. There are dolls made by kids on display which are so sophisticated it may seem unlikely that a kid could make one of them, but tour guides will fill you in on the doll making secrets.
Visit times are:
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 11:30 am–4:30 pm, Fridays & Sat , 1:30–4:30 pm
The doll museum tour is fully guided and narrated. There are seven permanent galleries. One gallery features a replica African “Dogon “ hut. Another houses 700 specially hand-made dolls. Dolls are on exhibit in themed rooms for sports, music, Barbie and more.
Museum guides allow you to touch and hold the dolls. They are irresistible! See the dolls in their own worlds via dramatic and historical scenes created by the museum. You can learn about making African Wrap Dolls in a workshop and take in the dramatic presentation of “Legend of Cecilia.”
Appointments are required when visiting. You must purchase tickets or make arrangements in advance before visiting the museum.
Operating hours for individuals are Wednesday or Thursday from 11:30 – 4:00 pm., or Friday or Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For tickets, contact AboutBlackBoston.org Getaways at 617-942-1301 or write Contact@BlackBoston.com.
Private Groups receive tour treatment that will suit the needs of the group. Click here to start the planning process.
AboutBlackBoston.org Getaways offers a Boston Bus Day Trip to the museum.
Learn more about it.
The National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture is a 501© 3 nonprofit organization. It is located at 288 N. Main Street, Mansfield, MA., 40 miles south of Boston. A commuter rail from South Station stops in the town on its way to Providence, Rhode Island. The museum attraction is a 10 minute walk from the commuter rail station train stop.