Peace Museums

Peace Museums

prepared by Kinneret Kohn


Peace museums can be traced back to 1900 when the Hague Peace Palace in Geneva was founded by Andrew Carnegie to serve as a “living museum” hosting conferences on international law as well as exhibiting art dedicated to peace. It was soon followed by Jean de Bloch’s International Museum of War and Peace founded in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1902 which focused on the negative impacts of war with the idea that “war itself testified against war.” After the Second World War, it was Japan who took the lead in the development of modern peace museums when in 1949, on the fourth anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb, Hiroshima was enshrined as a memorial city of peace. Since that time, peace museums have developed quite a bit, however they still fall within certain frameworks. Terence Duffy has defined four types of peace museums; self-described peace museums, event or issue based museums, international law museums, and galleries. Kazuyo Yamane has focused on the museums’ perspectives which can either be anti-war (negative peace focused) or pro-peace (positive peace focused).

Below is a far from exhaustive list of peace museums meant to inspire further inquiry and exploration. Please add on to it with your own favorites by replying here.

Self-Described Peace Museums

Pasos Peace Museum

NYC Peace Museum

Envision Peace Museum

The Peace Museum

Peace Museum Chicago

Museum on the Seam

Nicholas Roerich Museum


Event or Issue Based Museums

Sierra Leone Peace Museum

Kyoto Museums for World Peace at Ritsumeikan University

Museum of Peace: Attari-Wagah Border, Amritsar

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

US Holocaust Memorial Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Museum of Tolerance

Eastern State Penitentiary

International Slavery Museum


International Law Museums (or dedicated to heroes)

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

Florence Nightingale Museum

Nobel Peace Center

Dayton Peace Museum

Peace Museum Vienna

Jane Addams Hull-House

The King Center


Galleries – Museums or cultural institutions not explicitly dedicated to peace whose exhibits explore topics related to social justice, positive and negative peace, and/or peace education

International Center of Photography

Dialogue in the Dark

El Museo del Barrio



International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and their 200+ institutional members

International Network of Museums for Peace

Social justice Alliance for Museums


Suggested Reading

Duffy, T. (1993). The Role of Peace Museums in peace Education: A new terrain for peace educators. Education for Peace: A Conference Report from Budapest. 61-72.

van den Dungen, P. (1993). On the Creative Principles, Message and Thematic Content of a Peace Museum. Peace Education Miniprints, 49. Sweden: Lund University

Yamane, K. (1993). A Peace Museum as a Center for Peace Education: What do Japanese students think of peace museums? Education for Peace: A Conference Report from Budapest. 73-86.