United States


Website: www.rileymuseum.org

Riley House Museum

The mission of the Riley Center/Museum is to enrich lives by increasing awareness of African American people, places, and events that helped to shape the foundations of our society and help to present a balanced view of Florida's history.

Permanent Collection

"Take me to the Water." Lake Jackson, 1997

"Rascal Yard, Downtown Tallahassee." 1998

"Granny Atkins, Leon County Lay Midwife." 1997

"Freedom's Pain, a portrait of Rev. C. K. Steele," 1998


"Spiritual Sojourn" exhibit opens at Riley House on Wednesday, September 20, 2006. The exhibit celebrates, posthumously, the life and artistic prowess of African American artist Amos Lawrence Lewis Sr. A mixed-media presentation of watercolor, etchings, acrylics, mosaics, ceramics and sculptures, the show is a microcosm of what Black artists were accomplishing during the 20th century. Though many could not display in mainstream galleries due to the social times that limited opportunities, they continued to produce and share their works with community groups,
schools, at events, and in churches. Mr. Lewis' widow, Maggie Lewis Butler, retained over 90 pieces of his work and made a part of it available the Riley Center/Museum to create the "Spiritual Sojourn" exhibit. On display until November 15th, the exhibit is scheduled to show at numerous other venues through 2008.

Eluster Richardson’s: Struggles and Triumphs Series II
Struggles and Triumphs II is the second series of an exhibit by native Tallahassean artist Eluster Richardson, that captures the history of African Americans in Florida from Reconstruction through the mid-Twentieth Century. This exhibition illustrates the lives of everyday African Americans, young and old, rural and urban alike, through struggles and in triumphs. This story of African American life and contributions is evident across the country, particularly in the South.

Nationally significant collection Received by the Riley House: Black Abolistionists Papers. Over 14,000 essays, speeches, letters of anti-slavery movements by Black Abolitionist were donated by Dr. Joe Richardson and Dr. Maxine Jones, FSU History Professors and authors of Af...+ [ Read all ]

Previous Exhibitions

James Weldon Johnson Children's Art Exhibit
January 20 - March 2005

Sponsored by Tots' N Teens Theater Inc., Jacksonville, Florida. Upcoming Exhibit: Struggles & Triumphs Series II, an art exhibit depicting African American landmarks & legacies from various parts of the State of Florida

"World War II, African Americans,
and the Ledo/Stilwell Road"
Dr. Geraldine Seay, Curator/Researcher

Riley Center/Museum
419 E. Jefferson Street
September 5 - November 28, 2003

Thousands of American Army personnel were called upon to construct the 1079-mile Ledo/Stilwell Road, and of 15,000 troops called, more than 60% were African Americans. The first and last battalions on the scene were the 45th, 823rd, and the 858th Engineers, respectively, all African American Battalions. There were Black road builders, and trucking companies; at least, two Black station hospitals filled with Black nurses, Black doctors, Black dentists, and laboratory technicians; and thousands more African Americans serving in various capacities.

Most official and unofficial histories make little note of the African American troops in this theatre. But there are photos that document the contributions these soldiers made. This exhibit seeks to pay tribute to their great courage and makes these photos, films, and artifacts available to the general public. Several veterans who worked on the Ledo/Stilwell Road were interviewed and have been invited to attend the opening at the Riley House.


Free entry.

Opening hours

Monday through Friday
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Getting there

419 East Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, Florida

Museum internal and external photos (1)

Click on the images to enlarge


History is not merely a collection of knowledge about individual sites, accomplishments, and events but is a broader continuum of human activity that connects past times to the present, shaping visions for the future. The Riley Education Director makes visits to schools, gives presentations at community events, and presents to numerous groups on topics that connect people with history and heritage.
We offer training in history and cultural heritage curriculum and lesson plan development, conduct workshops demonstrating basic exhibit fabrication and installation techniques, and make oral and visual presentations about the history and heritage of geographic areas throughout Florida. Through our education program, we help instill in present and future generations the importance of valuing and preserving the remarkable heritage of Florida.