Lam Museum of Anthropology, Wake Forest University

Palmer Hall, Carroll Weathers Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27106 - United States





Free Everyday

Discover North Carolina’s only museum dedicated to the study of global cultures. Explore stories of humanity, from ancient archaeological sites to the celebrations and struggles of today. Learn about people from around the world through their everyday objects, ceremonial artifacts, and visual arts. The Museum is located on the campus of Wake Forest University. Please call or email for turn by turn directions.


Stories of Humanity: Anthropology in North Carolina
Anthropology is the study of humans. It is a big topic, including everything from basic biology to complex cultures. The topic is so vast that anthropologists specialize in one of four subfields just to make sense of the diversity within their discipline. Each of the subfields—biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and anthropological archaeology—have a different focus, and its anthropologists have developed unique methods for investigating humanity. These investigations take place everywhere, including right here in North Carolina. In this permanent exhibit, visitors will learn how anthropologists work together to tell stories of humanity here in our own state.

Life after Death: The Day of the Dead in Mexico
The Museum’s annual exhibit celebrates the Mexican observance of the Day of the Dead. The exhibit’s centerpiece is a traditional ofrenda, an altar with food and beverage offerings, flowers, sugar skulls, and photos of deceased family members. The colorful exhibit includes information on the celebration’s history and its unique skeleton-themed folk art. This year, it also includes a section about the fantastical folk art sculptures known as alebrijes. Exhibit text is in English and Spanish.

Culture at Stake
Museums are filled with works of art and ancient artifacts that represent global cultural heritage. Not every object, however, belongs in a museum. This exhibit traces the origins of three of the museum’s collections to show how heritage is threatened by unethical collecting. The story takes visitors on a journey from archaeological sites to the elite world of art collectors, and from the Pacific Islands to the Wake Forest University campus. Visitors will also find out what is happening to reconnect these objects to stakeholders around the world.

Scavenger hunts are available for children of all ages.

Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.