History & Impact

A screenshot of an online article with the headline "Not everyone can name five women artists and one museum wants to change that"

Learn about the impact of #5WomenArtists! 

#5WomenArtists has been a viral success! The campaign has elevated the profile of NMWA as a world leader in advancing gender equity in the arts, resulting in valuable partnerships and an expanded audience. The museum’s social media following has cumulatively increased over 200%,  and #5WomenArtists has resulted in tangible, real world impacts for artists and arts organizations.

By the Numbers 2016–2019

U.S. States54
Instagram Posts30,000
Media mentions183


For museums & galleries:
The campaign has inspired museums around the world to create their own programming like #5WomenArtists installations or special tours highlighting work by women artists on view. Other organizations have been motivated to conduct internal audits to reveal the gaps in gender representation in their collections.

For schools & libraries:
Teachers have created their own lessons plans about #5WomenArtists and libraries have created special displays for students to learn and take the challenge.

For artists & art fans:
Many individual participants express shock at how surprisingly difficult the challenge is, and how excited they are that the campaign helps them learn about women artists they weren’t familiar with. Working artists have used the campaign as a way to build community around the shared experience of building an art career as a woman.


The #5WomenArtists campaign has won a Gold MUSE Award from the American Alliance of Museums and a Silver Award from the W3 Awards.

Selected Press Coverage


Galleries are focusing on female artists to tackle the industry’s gender divideArt Newspaper
Where Are All The Women Artists? NMWA's Latest Campaign Aims To Find The Answer, Forbes Women
Tate Will Give Five Women Major Solo Exhibitions in the Next Two Years, Tate
Can you name 5 women artists? Few can; a campaign aims to change thatWTOP


Help the #5WomenArtists Social Media Challenge Succeed…By Making It Unnecessary, Observer 
Can you name #5WomenArtists? Here’s a list to get you started. The Lily 
How Women Are Using Digital Platforms to Find Parity in the Arts, Observer 
These women are some of America’s greatest artists. Why don’t they get the respect they deserve? Washington Post 


Not Everyone Can Name 5 Women Artists, And One Museum Wants To Change That, Huffington Post
Why #5WomenArtists is all over your timeline, USA Today
How American museums are celebrating Women's History Month, The Art Newspaper
Few people can name five female artists—can you? PBS Newshour


Fighting the Under-Representation of Women in the Arts, The Atlantic
Can you name 5 women artists? New York Magazine
Sadly, Naming Five Women Artists Isn't As Easy As It Sounds, Huffington Post
In March, Museums Promote Women Artists Through Social Media Campaign, artnet

National Museum of Women in the Arts