WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), recently reopened after a major renovation, welcomes the new year with a full slate of gallery talks, keynote lectures and hands-on art-making. Hear from 2022 Venice Biennale curator Cecilia Alemani and attend a session of The Bigger Picture, an art history survey that focuses on women’s contributions to the canon. In April, visit New Worlds, the seventh and largest installment of the museum’s Women to Watch exhibition series.
The information below is current as of November 2023. All times listed are Eastern Time. For more information, visit the museum’s online calendar. To request access services, please check the online calendar for contact information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the Studio
Sundays, January 7, February 4, March 3, April 7; Wednesdays, January 10, February 14, March 13, April 10, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Join NMWA educators in the museum’s new studio for free, self-directed, drop-in art-making activities inspired by artworks on view. Visitors of all ages are invited to participate. Children 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Free with admission. Reservations not required.
The Bigger Picture
Sundays, January 28, February 25, March 24, April 28, 2–3:30 p.m.
Looking to expand your knowledge of women’s contributions to the history of Western art? Tired of outdated surveys that still marginalize them? Join us for a new monthly series that shakes up the traditional chronological and stylistic narratives by exploring art from the 16th century to today through the lens of the museum’s collection and thematic topics. During sessions that combine lectures with conversations in the galleries, Director of Education and Interpretation Deborah Gaston recounts compelling biographies, introduces mediums and genres in which women have innovated and invites participants to share their own observations and insights. Topics include “’Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’,” “Face to Face,” “Object Lessons” and “Natural Wonders.” $25; $22 seniors/students/D.C. residents; $20 members. Reservations required.
Firsthand Experience Workshop: Recipe Comics
Saturday, February 10, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Learn the step-by-step process of selecting and refining personal recipes, drawing them and creating creating comic-inspired art that you can share with your friends and family with award-winning author/illustrator Robin Ha. Art supplies provided. No experience required. $25; $22 seniors/students; $20 members. Reservations required.
Firsthand Experience Workshop: Radiant Textures
Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Experiment with color and texture to make abstract monotypes and sew a luminous, long-stitch journal with artist and writer Jamila Zahra Felton. Art supplies provided. No experience required. Art supplies provided. No experience required. $25; $22 students/seniors; $20 members. Reservations required.
In the Galleries
Wednesdays, January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14, 21, 28, March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17, 24, 12–12:30 p.m.
Facilitated by museum staff members, these conversational thematic talks highlight three to six works on view. Topics and locations in the museum vary; check the calendar for rotating areas of focus. Free. Reservations not required. Meet at the Information Desk.
Free Community Day
Sunday, January 7; Wednesday, January 10, Sunday, February 4; Wednesday, February 14; Sunday, March 3; Wednesday, March 13; Sunday, April 7; Wednesday, April 10, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Visit us on the first Sunday and second Wednesday of each month for free museum admission. Take this opportunity to explore our collection and current exhibitions. Free. Reservations required.
Collection Highlights Tours
Sundays, January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11, 18, 25, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21, 28; Tuesdays, January 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27, March 5, 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Fridays, January 12, 19, 26, February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26, 2–2:45 p.m.
Explore the museum’s collection during engaging, interactive drop-in tours. These guided experiences will feature six to eight works on view highlighting the creative contributions of artists from the 16th century to today. Free with admission. Reservations not required. Meet at the Information Desk.
Wednesdays, January 17, February 21, March 20, April 17, 5:30–8 p.m.
Join us on the third Wednesday evening of each month for a creative and engaging after-hours experience! Peruse the galleries, grab a cocktail, listen to a performance, attend a tour or participate in art-making and craft activities. Mark your calendar for a great time for you and your friends. Ticket includes two drink tickets; additional drinks for purchase. $25; $22 for seniors/students; $20 NMWA members. Reservations required.
Slow Art Day Conversation
Saturday, April 13, 3:30–5 p.m.
Slow Art Day invites you to invest time looking closely at a limited number of artworks. NMWA will help with this process by providing a small selection of works to consider along with slow-looking prompts to help you get started. Then, join an in-person conversation to connect with other art lovers, discuss their experience of slow looking, and learn more about the selected artworks. A NMWA educator will facilitate this conversation. Free with admission. Reservations required.
Women, Arts, and Social Change
Creative’s Keynote: Cecilia Alemani
Sunday, March 10, 4–7 p.m.
Women artists have often been at the fringes of the art world, and today they remain dramatically underrepresented and undervalued in museums, galleries and auction houses. However, the 2022 Venice Biennale featured an unprecedented roster of women and nonbinary artists. Join us for a conversation with Cecilia Alemani, the curator behind this extraordinary exhibition, to discuss what it means to have women in positions of power in the art world, curatorial practices that uplift underrepresented voices and more. The program is followed by the museum’s signature Sunday Supper, when panelists and participants will share a meal served family-style, with the goal of fostering connections. $40; $37 for students/seniors; $35 NMWA members. Reservations required.
Art Chats @ 5
Fridays, January 26, February 23, March 22, April 26, 5–5:45 p.m.
Jump-start your weekend with art from home! Join NMWA educators online for informal 45-minute art chats about selected artworks in the collection. Each week the group will consider a new sampling of artworks. You can even enjoy your favorite happy hour drink or snack during the sessions. Free. Reservations required. Registration for each month’s Art Chats opens by the 20th of the preceding month.
The Sky’s the Limit
Through February 25, 2024
The contemporary sculptures in this exhibition dangle from the ceiling, cascade down walls and extend far beyond their footprint on the gallery floor. Process-focused sculptures were pioneered by women creators in the mid-20th century, and they continually expand and redefine this medium. Never-before-exhibited artworks from the museum’s collection by Sonya Clark, Beatriz Milhazes, Cornelia Parker, Mariah Robertson, Shinique Smith and Joana Vasconcelos form the core of this presentation. They illuminate how artists use scale and the allure of materials for maximum impact. Towering artworks on view feature an array of found objects such as silver-plated vessels, hair combs, ostrich eggs and parasols, as well as essential materials ranging from aluminum to wool.
Hung Liu: Making History
Through October 20, 2024
“Weeping” paintings and prints by Hung Liu (1948–2021)—featuring signature paint drips, layers of color, and cultural symbols—pay homage to overlooked figures in history, predominantly vulnerable women and children from the artist’s native China. Liu lived through Mao Zedong’s totalitarian regime during the Cultural Revolution before immigrating to the U.S., and her work reveals boundless empathy for the plights of the working class. Drawing inspiration from a collection of vintage photographs that she discovered on a return visit to China in the 1990s, she portrays migrant laborers, sex workers, female soldiers and refugees with dignity, endurance, strength and courage.
Holding Ground: Artists’ Books for the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Through October 20, 2024
Nine new works by celebrated book artists inaugurate NMWA’s new Learning Commons and its reinvigorated Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center. Some of the artists reflect on NMWA as a special place for art by women. Others remind viewers that creativity is expressed in other environs, from small interiors to vast outdoor geographies. Above all, the artists’ books celebrate the varied spaces where women’s creativity blooms. Participating artists include Alisa Banks, Adjoa J. Burrowes, Julie Chen, Suzanne Coley, IBé Crawley, Maricarmen Solis Diaz, Colette Fu, Kerry McAleer-Keeler and María Verónica San Martín.
Impressive: Antoinette Bouzonnet-Stella
Through October 20, 2024
The Entrance of the Emperor Sigismond into Mantua (1675), an extraordinary series of 25 prints by 17th-century French artist Antoinette Bouzonnet-Stella (1641–1676) is presented at NMWA for the first time in almost 15 years. The exhibition explores the circumstances of the work’s creation and focuses on Bouzonnet-Stella’s life in Paris, where she lived and worked with her uncle, artist Jacques Stella, in his prestigious lodgings in the Louvre. There, she produced copies of his paintings and accepted commissions for works such as The Entrance of the Emperor Sigismond into Mantua, her best-known work.
In Focus: Artists at Work
Through October 20, 2024
Enjoy a close-up look into the practices and perspectives of eight contemporary collection artists via short documentary-style videos. Presented in NMWA’s ground-floor Long Gallery, welcoming visitors to the renewed museum, these videos feature Ambreen Butt, Sonya Clark, Colette Fu, the Guerrilla Girls, Graciela Iturbide, Delita Martin, Rania Matar and Alison Saar. The installation’s intimate and immersive design sparks curiosity, inspires advocacy and encourages slow looking during visitors’ exploration of the museum. Dynamic graphic panels include information about each artist and share online resources as well as a map leading to their art on view at NMWA. Presented in two phases, with four artists highlighted in each phase, this series spotlights groundbreaking women artists at work today. For this project, NMWA partnered with Emmy and James Beard award-winning film production company Smartypants and experiential design firm Art Processors to ensure an accessible and enriching experience.
New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024
April 14–August 11, 2024
Visionary artists reimagine the past, present alternate realities and inspire audiences to create different futures. During the past few years, our world has been transformed by a global pandemic, advocacy for social reform and political division. How have these extraordinary times inspired artists? Works by the 28 artists featured in New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 explore these ideas from perspectives that shift across geographies, cultural viewpoints, and time.
Remix: The Collection
Remix showcases familiar collection favorites as well as never-before-exhibited recent acquisitions. Artworks are grouped around themes, in some cases anchored by a medium and in others by an idea, that resonate among global artists across time, including photography, fiber works, the colors red and purple, nature, domesticity and more.
Hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; Closed Mondays and select holidays
Location: 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, two blocks north of Metro Center
Admission: $16 for adults, $13 for D.C. residents and visitors 70 and over; free for visitors 21 and under and visitors with disabilities. Admission is free the first Sunday and second Wednesday of each month.
Information: nmwa.org, 202-783-5000