Urgent Museum Notice

Return to Nature

Color photograph of a dense forest with a light skin-toned girl with bare feet climing a tree at center. Below her to the right is another light skinned girl sitting against the trunk of a tree. Other figures are scattered throughout the forest in the background.
Aug 01, 2020 to Jan 03, 2021

Inspired by our collective urge to return outside after a period of hibernation, this focus exhibition presents 20 photographs by 11 artists from the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). In the museum’s intimately scaled Teresa Lozano Long Gallery, large contemporary prints of lush landscapes mingle with exquisite vintage black-and-white flower studies. Other photographs on view depict figures traversing beaches, deserts, rainforests, and the coastlines of rivers and lakes. The installation demonstrates how artists passionately explore nature’s scientific phenomena and visual complexity, as well as its role as the wellspring for all human experience.

Women actively participated in the development of photography from the time of its introduction in 1839. In the medium’s earliest years, women advanced botanical illustration in particular. Until the 1970s, their contributions were largely overlooked, and very few museums acquired their photographs in substantial numbers. Photography is one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of NMWA’s collection; more than half of the artworks featured in Return to Nature are being exhibited for the first time.

Close-up photograph shows a trumpet-shaped flower against a dark black background. The flower's striated long neck erupts in a profusion of purple and white petals that dominate the composition.

Amy Lamb, Purple Datura, 2015; Digital pigment print of photograph, 34 x 34 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of the Artist and Steven Scott Gallery, Baltimore; © 2015 Amy Lamb, all rights reserved.

Oct 24, 2020

Exhibit Open today
10 am to 5 pm

Exhibition Hours

Monday to Saturday

10 am to 5 pm

Sunday

12 to 5 pm

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

Exhibition Location

Teresa Lozano Long Gallery

Related Blog Post

Today, grappling with a period of global quarantine, many people are experiencing an urge to return to the outdoors, seeking comfort and revitalization in nature. Return to Nature, a pop-up installation showcasing a selection of historical and contemporary photographs from NMWA’s collection, illustrates artists’ longstanding fascination with the natural world.
Close-up photograph shows a trumpet-shaped flower against a dark black background. The flower's striated long neck erupts in a profusion of purple and white petals that dominate the composition.
Amy Lamb, Purple Datura, 2015; Digital pigment print of photograph, 34 x 34 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of the Artist and Steven Scott Gallery, Baltimore; © 2015 Amy Lamb, all rights reserved.