NMWA Art Picks

Explore staff and local celebrities’ favorite NMWA artworks. Then tell us yours.

Have a favorite NMWA artwork? Tell us what grabs you!

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If you’re selected as our featured NMWA Pick of the Month, you win a copy of Women Artists Tiny FolioTM!

NMWA Community Picks

Check out which artworks in NMWA’s collection appeal to local celebrities, community members, and museum staff.

Chef, TV Host, Entrepreneur, Teacher
My Favorite Artwork: Alison Saar, Snake Man, 1994
Why It Moves Me: I’m immediately drawn to the striking contrast of gold, red, and gray. Then I find myself mesmerized by the white space of the eyes. The painting makes me stand tall, which in turn makes me feel strong. For me, this painting is about power and grace.
Visiting NMWA Since: 1997

TV News Anchor
My Favorite Artwork: Joan Mitchell, Sale Niege, 1980
Why It Moves Me: Seeing the meltdown that often happens in Washington during a snowstorm, I love that this storm shows beauty instead of chaos. Even when the “Dirty Snow” melts, the colors seeping into the ground are the colors of flowers we’ll enjoy in the spring.
Visiting NMWA Since: 1986. A year before the museum opened, I profiled Mrs. Holladay, the museum’s founder, for Channel 9.

Entrepreneur, Owner of CakeLove
My Favorite Artwork: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Indian, Indio, Indigenous, 1992
Why It Moves Me: This work inspires me—and we could all use a little inspiration these days! I love the colors and the organization. The way the artist fills up the space of the canvas—it somehow fits my personality. Her vision helps me better understand how I see the world.
Visiting NMWA Since: 1995

Founder & CEO of Pace Communications; Diplomat and Humanitarian
My Favorite Artwork: Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun, Portrait of Madame Thérèse, 1803
Why It Moves Me: Both artist and subject speak to me as strong women who succeeded in a male-dominated world. The painter is among the greatest of all 18th-century artists. The woman in the portrait—a celebrated dancer—is the epitome of poised and casual elegance.
Visiting NMWA Since: 1987

NMWA Staff Picks

Explore our staff’s favorite artworks (of the moment).

Editor since 2011
My Favorite Artwork: Elena Presser, Unfinished Symphony, 1982
Why It Moves Me: I like it because Presser’s meticulous craftmanship and evocative visual language combine to make a book-object that is both visually stunning and inspirational.

Receptionist, Security, Ticketing since 2000
My Favorite Artwork: Elisabetta Sirani, Virgin and Child, 1663
Why It Moves Me: I like the painting because it shows Mary and the baby Jesus.

Associate Educator since 2009
My Favorite Artwork: Petah Coyne, Untitled (#781), 1994
Why It Moves Me: I love all the associations that spring to mind when standing before this work. From a distance, it looks like something to wear, maybe a tutu or frothy pink party dress. On closer look, the wax is more clear, and I think of candles dotting a child’s birthday cake or even dripping candles on a church altar.

Digital Media Specialist since 2011
My Favorite Artwork: Alma Woodsey Thomas, Iris, Tulips, Jonquils, and Crocuses, 1969
Why It Moves Me: I love the colors in this piece. Also, even though it’s abstract, I find it very accessible. This artwork always brings a smile to my face, which is why I made it my desktop background image at work!

Chief Curator, at NMWA since 1996
My Favorite Artwork: Elizabeth Jane Gardner Bouguereau, The Shepherd David, ca. 1895
Why It Moves Me: Because religious painting was an anomaly in the late 19th century, but there was Jane Gardner producing this expressive painting about the young shepherd who would eventually become King David. I found a letter from the artist in which she admits that the painting would hold no appeal to an individual buyer but would be destined for a museum's collection. Perfect!

Director of Education since 2005
My Favorite Artwork: Mickalene Thomas, A-E-I-O-U and Sometimes Y, 2009
Why It Moves Me: This recent acquisition is one of my new favorites. I love that Thomas examines concepts of female beauty, which surround us in popular culture. She likens the rhinestones she adheres to her paintings to “the glossy lipstick women wear,” which for most women is a way of masking or shaping public identity. Her work is smart and fun.

Assistant Educator since 2009
My Favorite Artwork: Nikki S. Lee, The Hispanic Project (19), 1998
Why It Moves Me: I’m fascinated by Lee’s total immersion into an ethnic or social group to explore identity. I’d love to document her process!

Curator of Book Arts since 1982
My Favorite Artwork: Chakaia Booker, Acid Rain, 2001
Why It Moves Me: I love the material she uses for her sculpture (rubber tires). She is a true original. I also like the combination of darkness and whimsy in her work. It reflects how I often feel about the world.

National Museum of Women in the Arts