Urgent Museum Notice

Holding Ground: Artists’ Books for the National Museum of Women in the Arts

An artist's book, opened to reveal a pop-up of many colorful flowers in a vase. The pages are dark with black writing.
Oct 21, 2023, to Oct 20, 2024

The book arts have always been at the heart of the collections of the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center (LRC) at NMWA. To inaugurate the museum’s new Learning Commons and its reinvigorated research center, the LRC invited nine book artists, several of whom are based in the Washington, D.C., area, to create works inspired by NMWA’s mission.

Alisa Banks, Adjoa J. Burrowes, Julie Chen, Suzanne Coley, IBé Crawley, Maricarmen Solis Diaz, Colette Fu, Kerry McAleer-Keeler, and María Verónica San Martín reflect on spaces that foster women’s creative expression. Many of the works consider NMWA as a special and evolving place for art by women, now and into the future. Others remind viewers that creativity is expressed and uplifted in unexpected spaces, from small interiors such as Harlem kitchens to vast outdoor geographies such as Chile’s Atacama Desert. Above all, the artists’ books celebrate the spaces where women’s creativity blooms.

Upon the reopening of the museum on October 21, these books will be on view in a gallery adjacent to the library’s reading room. All will become part of the LRC’s renowned collection of artists’ books, as the library’s holdings continue to grow and highlight the rich creative traditions of NMWA and its community.

An artist's book made of colorful green, yellow, brown, orange, and red paper. Several of the pages are curled and folded. Other paper is cut into strips and circles and displayed around the book.

Adjoa Jackson Burrowes, Blossom Again, 2023; Offset printed paper and acrylic on archival Bristol paper, 12 x 36 x 21 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift made possible through the generosity of the artist and a bequest from Marjorie B. Rachlin; © 2023 Adjoa Jackson Burrowes; Photo by John Woo

Exhibition Sponsors

Holding Ground: Artists’ Books for the National Museum of Women in the Arts is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The exhibition is made possible by a generous bequest from Marjorie B. Rachlin.

    Jun 20, 2024

    Open today from 10 am to 5 pm

    Exhibition Hours

    Tuesday to Sunday

    10 am to 5 pm

    Summer Late Nights: NMWA is open till 8 pm the third Wednesday of the month this summer.

    Holiday Closures: NMWA is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

    Hours are subject to change.
    Check the Plan Your Visit page for updates.

    Exhibition Location

    Fourth Floor

    Exhibition Events