Urgent Museum Notice

Fabulous! Portraits by Michele Mattei

An older woman dances in a flowing red dress, appearing as if she's floating through space. Her face is turned to the right and she wears an expression of calm and fulfillment.
Oct 12, 2012 to Jan 19, 2013

Drawn from an expansive group of photographic portraits by artist Michele Mattei, Fabulous! Portraits by Michele Mattei presents a selection of large-scale images of women painters, sculptors, designers, dancers, musicians, and collectors who have shaped contemporary culture. The women represented in the exhibition have helped redefine women’s roles over the last century and continue to provide inspiration for the next generation.

Mattei was motivated to create portraits of visual artists Louise Bourgeois and Faith Ringgold, author Bette Bao Lord, dancer Carmen de Lavallade, and others because she believes their faces reflect their commitment to advancing culture and women’s experiences. Mattei notes, “In their face is written their challenges and their fights, their badge of honor and their reward for having given us the life we live.”

Michele Mattei, Louise Bourgeois, 2000; Courtesy of the artist

Exhibition Sponsors

Fabulous! Portraits by Michele Mattei is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts and is generously supported by the members of NMWA.

Related Media

Interview with the Artist

Mattei discusses the inspiration for creating this project, the women she considers role models, the response she has received, and the common threads that tie the photographs together.
Two women sit in a living room having a discussion.

Related Blog Post

NMWA’s exhibition Fabulous! Portraits by Michele Mattei presents a selection of Michele Mattei’s photographs of women who have shaped contemporary culture. Mattei, who began her career as a journalist before moving...
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.