Press Room

NMWA Receives $9 Million Bequest

Jun 13 2017

Largest Single Gift in Museum’s History

WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is pleased to announce the largest single financial gift in the museum’s history. On its 30th anniversary, NMWA has been honored by a major gift of $9 million from the Estate of Madeleine Rast. The bequest will bolster the museum’s endowment, strengthening in perpetuity NMWA’s mission to bring recognition to the achievements of women artists.

“We are inspired and truly grateful for this extraordinary gift. Madeleine was absolutely convinced of the importance of establishing a museum for women in the arts. Her conviction never wavered and, over time, she became a steadfast advocate for our mission as well as a dear friend,” said NMWA Founder Wilhelmina Cole Holladay. “Her generous gift to the museum will be enable future generations to enjoy the highest standards of exhibitions and programs and help make us more visible throughout the world.”

Board President Emerita Carol Lascaris, who co-chairs the endowment with her husband, Climis, said, “The Legacy of Women in the Arts Endowment is the lifeblood of our institution. It upholds the founder’s vision and supports our mission for future generations. Climis and I are so grateful to Madeleine Rast for planning this remarkable gift, which magnifies our museum’s strength and financial security.”

In 1993 when NMWA first announced her intention to create a charitable remainder trust, Madeleine Rast said: “The achievements of women artists of the past have generally been overlooked and ignored, yet many women persisted, developing their talents and producing magnificent works of art. Today’s artist still faces the same set of problems. She needs the time and place to develop her art. She needs a responsive audience also capable of constructive criticism. She needs a peer group for support and collaboration. And, yes, she needs recognition for her work.”

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National Museum of Women in the Arts