Urgent Museum Notice

Selections from the Collection

Partial gallery view of a young woman in a ponytail and glasses bending down to look at a tiny contemporary sculpture in a glass vitrine. Partial gallery view of a young woman in a ponytail and glasses bending down to look at a tiny contemporary sculpture in a glass vitrine.
Aug 01, 2020, to Aug 08, 2021

Selections from the collection are presented in thematic groupings that emphasize connections between historical and contemporary art as well as ideas explored by women around the world and through time. Women artists have distinguished themselves by persistently and successfully working within a system that has tried to suppress them and by rebelling against it. The theme Rebels with a Cause demonstrates that these artists—and often the individuals they portray— have blazed trails and propelled change for centuries.

Artists highlighted in the galleries convey the impact that home life, physical and personal journeys, and community have on one’s perceptions of self and others. Family Matters examines a broad range of familial experiences through moments of tranquility, humor, insecurity, rivalry, and joy that shape family connections. In Space Encounters, women artists highlight the corporeal and psychological nuances of enclosure as both prison and sanctuary, while the artists in Roots to Routes examine the subject of homelands and movement across borders.

Awed by nature’s beauty and strangeness, generations of women artists have interpreted the environment through art. In The Great Outdoors, artists’ responses to the terrestrial realm—representational, abstract, or conceptual—reflect the diversity of nature and individual experiences of it. On the other hand, artists featured in Built to Order investigate human intervention in the natural world, considering the impact of structures, cities, and societies.

The phrase 'What if Women Ruled the World' is sculpted with neon tubes of bright yellow, in all capital letters. The letters of “WOMEN” are larger than the rest and are configured vertically.

Yael Bartana, What if Women Ruled the World, 2016; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Museum purchase, Belinda de Gaudemar Acquisition Fund, with additional support from the Members’ Acquisition Fund; © Yael Bartana; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Related Media

Audio Guide

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.
Hear NMWA staff members discuss key works and artists from the museum’s collection, currently on view in the third-floor galleries.

Large Print Labels

Access all exhibition text in large print format for ease of reading as you explore the galleries.