The National Museum of Women In The Arts Reopens


Image Courtesy of National Museum of Women In The Arts

By Tiffani Stitz

After a temporary closure in 2021 and the completion of $66 million in renovations, the National Museum of Women in the Arts officially reopened on October 21.

This museum, located in the Masonic Temple in Washington DC, is the first of its kind. It is one of the major museums in the world solely dedicated to highlighting and sharing the works of women in the arts, while also serving as a center for social change and leadership. 

The exhibits rotate frequently and aim to show the works of both current artists and past artists from the 16th century to the present day. 

The museum displays many works from past female artists with the goal of giving these women the opportunity to be recognized for their works; Women in the arts were not given the credit and deserved recognition in the past, which is why, as homage, the museum spotlights their works in our new and modern society. 

According to the National Women in the Arts, 87% of works in major museums are by men. This is a result of inequalities rooted in history and society against women and is something that the NWMA is working to change. NWMA equally shares the work of women in the arts, while also advocating for the representation of women in the arts through other means. Realizing the many inequalities for women in the art world, it is dedicated to drawing attention to these issues while simultaneously finding ways in which they can fix them.

To bring more awareness, the NWMA has initiated a program called Fresh Talk. This program features conversations with women artists in all fields such as designers, activists, and more to empower women and give them a space to be heard.

Behind the many collections and works displayed at this museum is a rich history and background to both the museum itself and its location. The NWMA was incorporated in 1981 by Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay and officially opened in 1987 as a museum. Since its opening, this museum has gathered around 6,000 works from the 16th century to modern times and is the only museum in Washington DC that holds a painting by Frida Kahlo. 

Currently, there are 6 exhibitions on display at the museum. In addition to these exhibitions, there are many online exhibitions that are available to view as well. The works on display highlight many aspects of the arts from women all around the world and range from documentary-style videos to paintings, and prints. 

The museum opens its doors every Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To incentivize young people to visit, people 21 years old and under have free entry.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is a great way to celebrate women in the arts and is an important way to empower women and spark essential conversations.  From its founding to this day, the museum has strived to be a champion of women’s equality in the arts by showcasing centuries of works produced at the hands of women.  

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