Oprah Donates $12 Million to Smithsonian's New African-American Museum

The Smithsonian’s 19th museum is receiving a major donation from one of America’s wealthiest media moguls.

Former talk show host Oprah Winfrey is donating $12 million to the construction of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington.

The museum is slated to be finished in 2015 and is being built on the National Mall at the corner of 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.

The $500 million museum broke ground in 2012. President Barack Obama said it is fitting that it will be built on the National Mall, "where slaves were once traded and hundreds of thousands of people marched for jobs and freedom."

Winfrey previously contributed $1 million to the project. The museum’s 350-seat theater will be named after Winfrey, who is also a member of its advisory council. The museum’s director Lonnie Bunch said he would love a microphone used on Winfrey’s television show to add to the collection of over 22,000 objects.

Thus far, the museum’s collection includes a lace shawl owned by abolitionist Harriet Tubman, a Jim Crow-era segregated railroad car, Louis Armstrong’s trumpet and a South Carolina slave cabin from the 19th century.

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