Celebrating Women in the Arts (May 2018)

Photos by Dakota Fine Photos by Dakota Fine

March is Woman's History month and a very busy time at The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Recently celebrating its 30th anniversary, the museum is home to over 5000 works of art by 1000 artists dating from the Renaissance to the present day. Along with the permanent collection and the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center, there are several spaces for special exhibitions. On view until May 28 is Women House featuring work by 36 artists including Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, and Niki de Saint Phalle. Also on view are prints by Chinese-born artist Hung Liu through July 8th.

When asked why there needs to be a museum dedicated to art by women we start by telling the story of our founder, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay. She started collecting art by women in the 1970s after taking a trip to Europe where she saw wonderful art by women and then discovered that there were no women artists in H.W. Jason's History of Art. This remained true until the 1986 edition. The museum champions artists who were famous, successful, and highly regarded in their day but left out of the history books. To bring light to this issue, the museum has started a challenge on social media to name #5WomenArtists. As a bonus, see if you can name five women artists of color. If this is hard for you, or even if it's not, come by and see us in person, check us out online at nmwa.org, or @WomenInTheArts, and look for us in 2019 at the National Docent Symposium, NDS 2019.

Women s March on Washington  28 -E 5 x 7 in. at 300 dpi  JPG

Susan White, Docent, National Museum of Women in the Arts