Welcome to the Tuskegee University Legacy Museum

The LEGACY MUSEUM is part of a consortium of museums at Tuskegee University that includes the Dr. George Washington Carver Museum, The Booker T. Washington Home-The Oaks and the Tuskegee Airmen Museum. the LEGACY MUSEUM exhibits works from its art collection and interprets, additionally, public health, science and medicine. The Museum's exhibitions and programs reach international audiences and history buffs and art enthusiasts of all ages.

Located in the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care/ John A. Kenney Hall, The LEGACY MUSEUM is an outgrowth of the Official Proclamation by President William Jefferson Clinton against the misdeeds of the United States Public Health Service in its Untreated Syphilis Study in the Negro Male in Macon County, Alabama, 1932-1972.

On the third floor of the museum are two exhibits. The Patient, The Project, The Partnership: The Mass Production and Distribution of HeLa cells at Tuskegee University and the United States Public Health Service Untreated Syphilis Study in the Negro Male, 1932-1972.


From left to right: Dr. Russell Brown, Ms. Henrietta Lacks and Dr. James H.M. Henderson 

The HeLa Cell exhibit celebrates the life of he Virginia born Henrietta Lacks, who was a tobacco farmer who suffered from an aggressive form of cervical cancer which landed her at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Her cells, harvested without her knowledge or that of her family, were discovered to possess the unique characteristics of growing and reproducing beyond measure. HeLa’s growth characteristics made it the ideal alternative primate host cell source for the massive testing of Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine. Tuskegee University’s Carver Foundation was one of the sites selected to mass produce the cell line and distribute it to laboratories worldwide for polio vaccine testing and a variety of research projects from which we all benefit today.

A suggested donation to the LEGACY MUSEUM is appreciated and there are brochures, posters, tee-shirts, and other LEGACY MUSEUM offerings available that celebrate our exhibition and the museum.  Click here to find out more about the COLLECTIONS contained in The Legacy Museum.

The LEGACY MUSEUM is open from 10:00 a.m until 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and is closed during official University breaks. Click here for the Tuskegee University Academic Calendar. Admission is free and open to the public. Suggested donation is $3.00 per person. All contributions are welcome. Email: legacymuseum@mytu.tuskegee.edu. Telephone Contacts: (334)-725-2342 or (334)-727-8888 Fax: (334)-725-2400. 

We are located at 1 Benjamin Payton Dr., Tuskegee AL 36088 click here for directions.

The LEGACY MUSEUM operates under the auspices of Tuskegee University Library Services.

<<Back to the Legacy Museum homepage