“Can You Name #5WomenArtists?” is a Hit!

View of the museum from outside showing the Neoclassical building from one corner. The building is a tan-colored stone with an arched doorway, long vertical windows, and detailed molding around the roof.
National Museum of Women in the Arts Reports Successful Social Media Campaign for Women’s History Month, March 2016

WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NWMA), the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating women artists, has announced that the social media campaign “Can you name #5WomenArtists?” achieved unprecedented success for the museum during Women’s History Month in March.

More than 370 national and international cultural institutions and almost 11,000 individuals joined the campaign to promote women artists, garnering more than 3,300 Instagram posts and more than 23,000 uses of the hashtag on Twitter. During the campaign, NMWA increased its Instagram followers by 140%, Facebook followers by 19% and Twitter followers by 12%. At least 60 individuals and cultural organizations created their own blog content, including posts written in Spanish, Italian, Turkish and Estonian, and NMWA’s introductory blog post was read almost 2,000 times. NMWA also launched a BuzzFeed quiz on March 28 called “Which of these #5womenartists are you?” Nearly 5,000 people viewed the quiz with many posting their results on social media.

The social media campaign began with an idea: If you ask someone to name five artists, they will likely name prominent male artists, but how many people can list five women artists?

Using the hashtag #5womenartists, NMWA launched the campaign March 1 on its website and blog as well as the social media outlets Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The campaign inspired a discussion on gender imbalance in the presentation of art both in the United States and internationally.

The museum shared information about women artists, including biographies, birthdays, quotes and statistics tagged with #5womenartists, and asked other institutions to join them in highlighting work by women in their collections and exhibitions. Among the numerous participating institutions were the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York; the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Walker Art Center in Minnesota; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and J. Paul Getty Museum in California; the National Gallery and the British Museum in the United Kingdom; the Guggenheim, Bilbao, in Spain; the Museo Arte Moderno in Colombia and the Australian Centre for Photography in Australia. In addition, people around the world posted their own favorite women artists on their social media accounts.

“We are delighted with the overwhelming response to the #5womenartists campaign,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling. “By calling attention to the inequity women artists face today, the Women’s Museum is gratified to have inspired even more conversation and awareness than we anticipated. We thank all of the cultural organizations and social media users who joined us in this important initiative.”

National Museum of Women in the Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women. The museum champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. NMWA highlights remarkable women artists of the past while also promoting the best women artists working today. The museum’s collection includes over 4,700 works by more than 1,000 women artists from the 16th century to the present, including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Chakaia Booker and Nan Goldin.

NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., in a landmark building near the White House. It is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. For information, call 202-783-5000 or visit nmwa.org. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youths 18 and under. Free Community Days take place on the first Sunday of each month. For more information about NMWA, visit nmwa.org, Broad Strokes Blog, Facebook or Twitter.