WASHINGTON—While the museum building may be closed, you can continue to join the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) for meaningful moments with art. Celebrate the lives of women artists with interactive virtual happy hours, or join a discussion about gender in the culinary industry. You can also visit Positive Fragmentation: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, an offsite exhibition at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, opening in January 2022 and featuring more than 150 prints by artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer and Julie Mehretu.
The information below is current as of July 2021. For more information, visit the museum’s online calendar.
Virtual Happy Hours
Join NMWA staff and special guests to celebrate the lives of women artists. Make specialty cocktails (or mocktails) in their honor as we share artworks and stories and explore the museum’s collection and archives. Free. Registration required. To support these programs and others like them, please consider making a donation.
- Wednesday, September 22, 5:30–6:30 p.m.: Mary Vaux Walcott
- Wednesday, October 13, 5:30–6:30 p.m.: Alma Woodsey Thomas and Her Circles—Join a virtual happy hour to celebrate Alma Woodsey Thomas and her amazing art circles! We will make a specialty cocktail in her honor and share artworks and stories about the Washington Color School and the Little Paris Group. Guest speaker Fanna Gebreyesus, curatorial associate at Glenstone Museum, leads an exploration of #5WomenArtists behind these art movements.
- Tuesday, November 9, 5:30–6:30 p.m.: Celebrating Florida Artists with the Gadsden Art Center and Museum
- Wednesday, January 12, 5:30–6:30 p.m.: Edmonia Lewis
- Wednesday, February 16, 5:30–6:30 p.m.: Artemisia Gentileschi
Collection Highlights Talks
Do you miss visiting the museum in person? Check out our drop-in virtual “tours.” During each interactive, docent-led presentation, participants will look closely at and discuss artworks from the museum’s collection. Join as often as you like—docents select the artworks, so tour content will vary. Free. Registration required. Reserve online. To support these programs and others like them, please consider making a donation.
Art Chats @ 5
Fridays, September 3–February 25, 5–5:45 p.m.
Jump-start your weekend with art! Join NMWA educators online every Friday for informal 45-minute art chats about selected artworks in the collection. Discuss a new sampling of art each week. You can even enjoy your favorite happy hour drink or snack during the sessions. Free. Registration required and limited. Register online. Registration for each month’s Art Chats opens by the 20th of the previous month. Art Chats will not be held on November 26, December 24 or December 31.
Tuesdays, September 14, October 12, November 9, December 14, January 11, February 8; 12–12:45 p.m.
This monthly talk show, a spin-off of the award-winning BMA x NMWA series, connects viewers to NMWA and its mission to champion women artists. Join as hosts from the museum interview special guests including artists, educators and curators; consider topics relevant to our world and offer insight into collaborations that NMWA is fostering while its building is closed for renovation. Free. Registration required. Registration opens August 1. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tuesday, September 14, 12–12:45 p.m.: Alma Woodsey Thomas and the Little Paris Group
Brews and Views
Celeste Beatty, founder of the Harlem Brewing Company, hosts a monthly happy hour to highlight topics in beer making, the restaurant industry, art, politics, culture and more. During this virtual conversation series, premiering in the fall, Beatty will be joined each month by an expert in the field and an artist. Guests to be announced. Free. No reservations required. Stream live on nmwa.org/livestream or on Facebook.
Alma Woodsey Thomas: Beneath the Surface
Wednesday, December 8, 1–1:45 p.m.
Join a colorful conversation with Gwen Manthey, paintings conservator at Smithsonian American Art Museum, on the Smithsonian’s research into Alma Woodsey Thomas’s artistic process. Learn about the materials and techniques that the artist used to create her abstract compositions and vibrant patterns.
Women, Arts, and Social Change Programs
Fridays, September 3, October 8, November 5, December 3, February 4, 12–1 p.m.
In this online series, women musicians perform original work via livestream on the first Friday of the month. Sessions each include a short interview, conducted over a cup of tea, exploring the artist’s creative process. Free. No reservations required. Stream live on nmwa.org/livestream.
- September 3: Navasha Daya
- October 8: To be announced
- November 5: Julie Dexter
- December 3: Rachel Attebery
- February 4: To be announced
Curative Collective Conversations
Join NMWA and members of the Curative Collective for a weekly conversation at the intersection of food, art and social change. From social justice work to restorative self-care, the Curative Collective is a group of organizations that serve communities throughout the Baltimore–Washington area and are contributing to RECLAMATION: Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals, an online exhibition exploring the healing power of food. These organizations help shape the exhibition to reflect and serve their communities while sharing their arts and social change resources. Free. No reservations required. Stream live on nmwa.org/livestream or on Facebook.
FRESH TALK: Plated Politics
Despite recent decades of feminist activism and increasing gender equity, women are still disproportionately responsible for domestic tasks, including managing family meals and nutrition. Yet the culinary industry—professionalized cooking—is predominantly male. In this FRESH TALK, speakers explore what happens when “women’s work” doesn’t necessarily uplift women and how women within and outside of the culinary industry can forge a new path forward. Speakers include culinary historian, professor and author Jessica B. Harris; food critic, chef, podcast host and author Soleil Ho; chef, author and founder of Black Culinary History Thérèse Nelson and culinary historian Laura Shapiro. Free, $10 donation suggested. Reserve online. Stream live on nmwa.org/livestream or on Facebook.
Fourth Annual MakeHER Summit Workshops (Virtual)
Join us for a day of meaningful connection and in-depth workshops that offer practical tips and resource sharing for creative entrepreneurs at all levels. Participants interested in the creative economy can attend workshops on branding, business development and more. Free, $10 donation suggested. Registration required, reserve online.
FRESH TALK: The Aesthetics of Appetite
The female body and its powerful capabilities are consistently likened to forces of nature, elements of the earth and even certain foods. Artists and other special guests discuss the fetishization and mystification of the female body and how behaviors and relationships associated with food play a role in the complex fluidity between gluttony and carnal desire. Free, $10 donation suggested. Reserve online. Stream live on nmwa.org/livestream or on Facebook.
NMWA Book Club
This book discussion series, presented by the museum‘s public programs and Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center teams, brings art lovers together to consider the lives and work of women artists, gender politics in the art world and more. Past books include Nell Painter’s Old in Art School (2018) and Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World (2014). This season’s book selection is currently under consideration. If you have recommendations, please email LRC@nmwa.org. Free. Reservations required. Reserve online for Thursday; reserve online for Friday.
Positive Fragmentation: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
January 29–May 22, 2022 at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
Organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts and on view at the American University Museum, Positive Fragmentation features more than 150 prints by 21 artists from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation collection. Employing a wide range of printmaking processes, artists use fragmentation—both literal and lyrical—to explode concepts such as gender, race and the environment.
Positive Fragmentation, organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, is made possible through the generous support of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundations and is presented in memory of Arlene Schnitzer in partnership with the American University Museum.
Select Online Exhibitions
RECLAMATION: Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals
Through December 31, 2021
RECLAMATION, an online participatory exhibition and ingredient archive, examines food as a creative medium and connective tool for exploring intergenerational and intercultural experiences. Through a focus on ingredients used in cooking, curatives and ceremonies, this exhibition re-presents the traditional role of women in providing sustenance and healing. The exhibition’s innovative design centers around the kitchen table, the central domestic object for gatherings of family and friends. Nine artists activate their kitchen tables, sharing photographs, videos and stories of how they use this most important domestic object. Viewers can leave their mark on the exhibition by sharing recipes, anecdotes and reflections related to food through a digital ingredient archive. RECLAMATION is part of a year-long season of programming that examines the relationship between food, art and women as part of the Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative.
The Women, Arts, and Social Change public programs initiative is made possible through leadership gifts from Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Davis/Dauray Family Fund, the Revada Foundation of the Logan Family, and the Susan and Jim Swartz Public Programs Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Bernstein Family Foundation. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Commemorating NMWA Founder Wilhelmina Cole Holladay
Wilhelmina Cole Holladay (1922–2021), founder of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, dedicated herself to addressing the underrepresentation of women artists in museums and galleries worldwide. Explore her life and legacy in this memorial exhibition.
Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend
Textile and social practice artist Sonya Clark (b. 1967) is renowned for her mixed-media works that address race and class, celebrate Blackness and reimagine history. This midcareer survey includes the artist’s well-known sculptures made from black pocket combs, human hair and thread as well as works made from flags, currency, beads, sugar, cotton plants, pencils, books, a typewriter and a hair salon chair. The artist transmutes each of these objects through her application of a vast range of fiber-art techniques: Clark weaves, stitches, folds, braids, dyes, pulls, twists, presses, snips or ties within each work. By stitching black thread cornrows and Bantu knots onto fabrics, rolling human hair into necklaces, and stringing a violin bow with a dreadlock, Clark manifests ancestral bonds and reasserts the Black presence in histories from which it has been pointedly omitted. View the Sonya Clark online exhibition.
Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The exhibition is made possible by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., with additional funding provided by Share Fund, Clara M. Lovett, the Sue J. Henry and Carter G. Phillips Exhibition Fund, and the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation.
Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood
An icon in modern photography, Mary Ellen Mark (1940–2015) documented people around the world who would otherwise be unknown or forgotten. From street children in Seattle to circus performers in India, Mark captured the lives and stories of individuals with empathy, humor and candor. Drawn from an exceptional donation of more than 160 photographs by the artist, given to the museum by members of the Photography Buyers Syndicate, this exhibition presents images from many of the artist’s best-known series, reflecting her wondrous and uncanny vision of girlhood. View the Mary Ellen Mark online exhibition.
Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood, presented in the Teresa Lozano Long Gallery of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, is organized by the museum and generously supported by the members of NMWA.
HOURS: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon–5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
LOCATION: 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, two blocks north of Metro Center.
ADMISSION: $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students and free for NMWA members and youth 18 and under. Free Community Days take place on the first and third Sundays of each month. Reserve tickets at nmwa.org/tickets.
INFORMATION: nmwa.org, 202-783-5000