Behind The Scenes

View of the museum from outside showing the Neoclassical building from one corner. The building is a tan-colored stone with an arched doorway, long vertical windows, and detailed molding around the roof.

Women on the Renovation Team

Posted: September 21, 2022
Category: Behind The Scenes
Women in architecture, engineering, and construction are playing key roles in NMWA’s renovation.
A group of thirteen women with a light skin tone of all ages wearing yellow safety vests and white safety helmets, smiling toward the camera. They are standing on a construction site with unfinished floors and building materials leaning on the walls in the back. One woman in the middle is wearing an orange safety vest, standing apart from the other women.

Ramping Up: Building Renovation Progress

Posted: July 20, 2022
Category: Behind The Scenes
NMWA’s top-to-bottom renovation will include significant improvements—clearer signage, new elevator options, and more—that will give the museum a more intuitive, visitor-centered design.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts’ historic Renaissance Revival building is pictured on a sunny day in downtown Washington, D.C. Scaffolding is set up on the front corner of the wedge-shaped structure, from top to bottom. On the sidewalk below, there is a covered walkway, panels of wood covering the doors and windows, and orange-and-white construction barriers.

Click Through: Updates on Digital Engagement

Posted: June 15, 2022
Category: Behind The Scenes
As the museum embarks on a new, comprehensive digital strategy, learn more about our efforts to increase online accessibility and engagement.
A light-skinned hand holds a mobile phone towards a four-story mural installed on the façade of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The mural shows the upper half of a woman with a medium-light skin tone surrounded by various colorful plants and symbols. The phone’s screen faces the viewer and contains a small image of the mural and text.

Winter Updates on NMWA’s Building Renovation

Posted: February 28, 2022
Category: Behind The Scenes
Over the winter months, crews prepared for their work on the building’s infrastructure—including new climate control systems that will better protect our one-of-a kind collection of work by women artists.
A team of five construction workers stand in the hallway of the museum building as it is under renovation. They wear white hard hats and yellow and orange safety vests over business casual clothes. They look up and down the hall, which is stripped down to it's base layer of red brick, concrete, and thick beams.

Breaking Ground on NMWA’s Renovation

Posted: December 15, 2021
Category: Behind The Scenes
Work has begun! Board Chair Winton Holladay shares an update on the museum's top-to-bottom building renovation.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts’ historic Renaissance Revival building is pictured on a sunny day in downtown Washington, D.C. Scaffolding is set up on the front corner of the wedge-shaped structure, from top to bottom. On the sidewalk below, there is a covered walkway, panels of wood covering the doors and windows, and orange-and-white construction barriers.

Space to Soar: Renovating NMWA’s Building

Posted: August 2, 2021
Category: Behind The Scenes
This Sunday, August 9, after a week of celebratory programs and extended hours, the museum’s building will close to the public for extensive refurbishments. Learn more about the exciting plans!
Architectural rendering of the gallery. People of all ages look at artwork hung on white and magenta walls.

Alma Woodsey Thomas: Hidden History

Posted: September 21, 2020
Category: Behind The Scenes
Through collaborating with a research team from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), NMWA gained vivid new insight into beloved works by Washington, D.C., artistic icon Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891–1978).
Abstract painting composed of brightly colored, lozenge-shaped brushstrokes in vertical stripes of navy, purple, turquoise, yellow, orange and red.The overall effect is as if the painting was collaged out of torn pieces of paper, with the white of the canvas showing through.
As NMWA remains temporarily closed due to COVID-19, we check in with NMWA staff in their own homes for a personal look at the creative ways they’re staying connected, inspired,...
A flock of sheep rest on a green hill by the sea. In the center, two adults and a lamb lie in a group. Flat rocks are visible through the grass. The sky has rolling clouds, and a breeze is suggested by the waves crashing on rocks in the sea, which stretches to the horizon.

NMWA @ Home: Creative Coping with Carolyn Higgins and Fiona McNally

Posted: April 22, 2020
Category: Behind The Scenes
As NMWA remains temporarily closed due to COVID-19, we check in with staff for a personal look at the creative ways they’re staying connected, inspired, and grounded.
A still life painting featuring an asymmetrical arrangement of flowers; the central section features pink, orange, yellow, and blue flowers and is dramatically highlighted compared to the background and outer edge of arrangement.

NMWA @ Home: Creative Coping with Melani N. Douglass and Orin Zahra

Posted: April 13, 2020
Category: Behind The Scenes
As NMWA remains temporarily closed due to COVID-19, we check in with staff for a personal look at the creative ways they’re staying connected, inspired, and grounded.
A color photograph of a large, ornate room in a palace. The expansive floor is bare and empty. At the other end of the room, a large ornate mirror hangs between two dark wooden doors. The moldings and details above the doors and mirror are extravagantly designed and a dramatic mural is featured at the very top of the wall. In the mirror, a small figure is seen, seemingly the photographer.