Women House

  • Sculpture of a house sitting on a pair of legs, forming a half-house, half-woman creature
    Laurie Simmons, Walking House, 1989; Collection of Dr. Dana Beth Ardi; Photo courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York
  • Around 9 small felt houses, all different colors, sit on a white table.
    Laure Tixier, Plaid House (Maquette), Acid green Dome House, Blue Art Deco House, Blue Japan House, Brown Usha Hut, Orange Breton House, Pink Tower, Red Deconstructivist House, Turquoise Blue Colonial house (Barbados), White Hut, 2005–11; Gift of Les Amis du National Museum of Women in the Arts, Paris, France; © Laure Tixier
  • Two young black women, one sitting on the other's lap, share a kiss, sitting next to a green kitchen oven.
    Zanele Muholi, Katlego Mashiloane and Nosipho Lavuta, ext.2, Lakeside, Johannesburg, 2007; Private collection

Women House on view March 9–May 28, 2018

Featuring work by thirty-six global artists, Women House challenges conventional ideas about gender and the domestic space. The exhibition is inspired by the landmark project Womanhouse, developed in 1972 by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. With works that disrupted traditional ideas about the home as a feminine realm, Womanhouse was the first female-centered art installation to appear in the Western world. In the new exhibition, Women House, women artists from the 1960s to today examine the persistence of stereotypes about the house as a feminine space.

Through photography, sculpture, installation and video works organized across eight themes, Women House emphasizes the plurality of women’s views on the home. In Walking House (1989), Laurie Simmons creates a playful yet disconcerting image of the female body being consumed by expectations and responsibilities. Laure Tixier’s series Plaid House (Maquette) (2005–11) explores domestic architecture from worldwide cultures in solid-colored felt sculptures that resemble miniature residential homes, tents, towers, or high-rise buildings. Zanele Muholi’s 2007 photograph of a young female couple in South Africa leaning into the warmth of their kitchen stove speaks to the possibility of domestic space as a place of both privacy and freedom.

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Women House Mobile Guide

Use the companion mobile guide to take the curator’s tour, explore featured artists, and more. Text “NMWA” to 565-12 or visit bycell.mobi/nmwa in your mobile browser.


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Women House Blog Posts

Explore exhibition themes and artworks in depth in this special blog series. Continue to check back as new posts are added.


Women House Videos

Explore this online playlist of artist interviews, studio visits, and historical footage of the 1972 installation, Womanhouse.


Women House is organized by La Monnaie de Paris. Its presentation at NMWA is made possible by GRoW @ Annenberg and Denise Littlefield Sobel. Additional funding is provided by the Sue J. Henry and Carter G. Phillips Exhibition Fund, Belinda de Gaudemar, the Estate of Sara D. Toney, Mahinder and Sharad Tak, and Étant Donnés Contemporary Art, a program of FACE Foundation.

Étant Donnés is developed in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, with lead funding from the Florence Gould Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture, and Institut Français-Paris. NMWA also thanks Regina Weingarten for her special contributions. Further support for Women House at NMWA is provided by American Airlines, the official airline of the museum’s 30th Anniversary.

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