Press Room

National Museum of Women in the Arts Celebrates its 25th Anniversary with Special Exhibitions, Events, and Programs

Mar 01 2012

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a broad range of signature exhibitions, events and programs. On April 7, 1987, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) opened its doors to the public to honor women artists of the past, promote the accomplishments of women artists of the present, and assure the place of women artists in the future. Twenty-five years later, the museum remains the only museum in the world solely dedicated to this mission.

Throughout its silver anniversary year, 2012, NMWA celebrates women artists by presenting milestone exhibitions. With Revolution-era French art, ad-inspired 1960s art by Sister Mary Corita (later Corita Kent), contemporary outdoor sculpture by Chakaia Booker, and an exhibition honoring women rockers, the museum demonstrates its commitment to women artists across disciplines and centuries.

In addition, NMWA has developed cultural programming and special events in partnership with local museums (Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists), the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (5 x 5), and Cultural Tourism DC (Passport DC).

This spring the museum will launch a redesigned website. Nmwa.org will have a sleek new look and allow for instant social media sharing. In addition to updated content, the improved navigation will make the user experience more enjoyable and efficient. Educators will benefit from the relaunch of Art, Books, and Creativity! website (artbookscreativity.org). The ABC initiative promotes visual literacy by developing students’ skills in observations, reflection and arts creation.

EXHIBITIONS


February 24, 2012–July 29, 2012
Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections
Featuring 77 paintings, prints, and sculpture from 1750 to 1850—a tumultuous revolutionary era—Royalists to Romantics celebrates these rare works, many of which have never been seen outside of France. The exhibition explores France’s shifting social, political and artistic environment. The exhibition includes work by 35 artists, including Antoine Cécile Haudebourt-Lescot, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun.

March 8, 2012–March 9, 2014
New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Chakaia Booker
Renowned sculptor Chakaia Booker has been selected as the second artist for the New York Avenue Sculpture Project, the only public art space featuring changing installations of contemporary works by women artists. Based in New York, Booker works almost exclusively with recycled tires that she cut, folded, and weaves into dynamic, highly textured sculptures. The installation comprises four sculptures, including a new work that Booker is creating specifically for the project.

March 9, 2012–July 15, 2012
R(ad)ical Love: Sister Mary Corita
Featuring eye-popping prints created between 1963 and 1967, R(ad)ical Love: Sister Mary Corita showcases the bold graphic language that the artist developed to communicate her vision of peace and love in the 1960s. Sister Mary Corita (later Corita Kent, 1918–1986) was a professor of art at Immaculate Heart College in L.A. She adapted designs from billboards, print ads, and product packaging and combined them with texts; her work has influenced contemporary artists such as Mike Kelley and Pae White.

March 16, 2012–June 24, 2012
25 x 25: Artists’ Books from the NMWA Collection
25 x 25: Artists’ Books from the NMWA Collection celebrates the generosity of donors who helped the museum to build a foremost collection of artists’ books. The collection formally started in 1986 when NMWA founder Wilhelmina Cole Holladay purchased Caroline, by Swiss surrealist Meret Oppenheim (1913–1985). From rare volume of poetry and etchings—one of 69 copies—the collection has grown to more than 1,000 unique books and limited editions in a variety of formats, from scrolls and accordions to codices and sculptures.

March 23, 2012–September 23, 2012
Women Silversmiths from the NMWA Collection
In honor of its silver anniversary, the museum is featuring more than 30 pieces from its extraordinary collection of silver by British and Irish women silversmiths from the late 17th to early 19th centuries. Many visitors are still surprised to learn that women were active participants in the silver industry in that era—although women were sometimes apprenticed as silversmiths, many learned the trade within their families and built successful careers as designers, craftswomen, and businesswomen.

May 1, 2012–July 31, 2012
Mamacita Linda: Letters between Frida Kahlo and her Mother
Thanks to the recent donation of The Nelleke Nix and Marianne Huber Collection: The Frida Kahlo Papers, NMWA’s Library and Research Center houses more than 360 unpublished letters related to the artist’s life and work. This exhibition showcases a selection of heartfelt letters sent between Frida and her mother in the years just before her mother’s death.

September 7, 2012–January 6, 2013
Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power
Women Who Rock illustrates the important roles women have played in rock and roll, from its inception through today. The exhibition, organized by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, will highlight the flashpoints, the firsts, the best, the celebrated and sometimes lesser-known women who moved rock and roll music and American culture forward. The exhibition spotlights more than 70 artists including Aretha Franklin, Grace Slick, Joan Jett, and Lady Gaga, and features artifacts and videos of their performances.

November 2, 2012–January 6, 2013
Women to Watch 2012
Women to Watch 2012 is the third installment in NMWA’s biennial exhibition series that features emerging or underrepresented artists from the states and countries in which the museum has outreach committees. This exhibition highlights inventive textile-based works. Many artists today stitch, weave, knit, crochet, knot, or wind fabric, thread, or textile-like materials such as wire or hair to build expressive images or forms that go beyond traditional fine arts.

EVENTS


March 8, 2012
11:30 a.m.
New York Avenue Sculpture Project Dedication
Art by Chakaia Booker
National Museum of Women in the Arts


This is the second installation of the New York Avenue Sculpture Project. It will feature four works by Chakaia Booker, one of which is being created specifically for this installation.

April 27, 2012
6:30 p.m.
25th Anniversary Gala: Les Jardins de Bagatelle
National Museum of Women in the Arts


The gala is the museum’s signature philanthropic event. More than 450 luminaries will gather to celebrate the museum’s accomplishments. The black-tie affair featuring cocktails, a silent auction, dinner and dancing, is chaired by Jacqueline Badger Mars and Isabel Ernst. Silent auction chairs are Karen and Craig Fuller.

May 13 and 14, 2012
12–5 p.m. and 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Global Marketplace
Passport DC
National Museum of Women in the Arts


In conjunction with Cultural Tourism DC’s Passport DC program, a month-long celebration of international culture, NMWA will host an international marketplace and sale of goods featuring goods by approximately 10 women artisans in its Great Hall. The Global Marketplace is an outgrowth of the museum’s ongoing initiative Empowering Women through Art. Through sales of products made by women in the developing world, NMWA and its Museum Shop actively promote art and entrepreneurship as vehicles of sustainable economic independence.

COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY PROGRAMS


February–December 2012
Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists


Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists in institutions throughout the nation’s capital. The program highlights historical and contemporary women artists working across a range of mediums. Participating institutions include the Anacostia Community Museum, Art Museum of the Americas, Corcoran Gallery of Art, DAR Museum, Dumbarton Oaks, Folger Shakespeare Library, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Hillwood Estate, Museums & Gardens, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center, Katzen Arts Center at American University, Kreeger Museum, Library of Congress, National Museum of the American Indian, National Building Museum, National Gallery of Art, National Museum of African Art, National Portrait Gallery, Phillips Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian American History Museum, Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Textile Museum and the U.S. Capitol.

March 20, 2012–May 28, 2012
5 x 5
Art by Clare Rojas
National Museum of Women in the Arts


5 x 5, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’s new temporary public art project, will result in 25 groundbreaking temporary public art installations that will be on view concurrently throughout the District of Columbia. The installations will be unveiled and showcased during the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Centennial Celebration, March 20–April 27, 2012. 5 x 5 will activate and enliven publicly accessible spaces in all eight wards of D.C. and add an ephemeral layer of creativity and artistic expression to neighborhoods across the District. Artist Clare Rojas has been selected to create art for NMWA’s exterior. Using vivid geometric shapes and patterns reminiscent of American folk Art and quilt work, Rojas creates narrative paintings focused on the relationships between men, women, society, and nature.

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National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), founded in 1981 and opened in 1987, is the only museum solely dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts. The museum’s permanent collection features 4,000 works from the 16th century to the present created by more than 1000 artists; including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Nan Goldin and Chakaia Booker along with special collections of 18th-century silver tableware and botanical prints. NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., in a landmark building near the White House. It is open Mon–Sat, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sun, noon–5 p.m. For information, call 202-783-5000 or visit.nmwa.org. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youth 18 and under.