Urgent Museum Notice

NMWA honors Austin philanthropists as first Madeleine Rast Awardees

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.

WASHINGTON—In celebration of Women’s History Month, on Monday, March 11, 2019, the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), will present its inaugural Madeleine Rast Award to Dr. Teresa Lozano Long and Mr. Joe R. Long of Austin, Texas. The Rast Award was established by NMWA to honor outstanding individuals who have shown a lifelong commitment to championing women and the arts.

The Longs have been patrons of the National Museum of Women in the Arts since its inception in 1987. Teresa (Terry) Long is a founding member of NMWA’s Texas Committee and, through the work of the committee, she has helped bring greater recognition to women artists across Texas for over 30 years. She and Joe have generously supported the museum in Washington as well. In 2008, following their generous gift to the museum’s Legacy of Women in the Arts Endowment campaign, the museum named its Teresa Lozano Long Gallery in Terry’s honor. Since that time, NMWA has held over 25 exhibitions in the Long Gallery, featuring works by more than 80 artists. In recent years, this space has enabled NMWA to create focus exhibitions highlighting diverse contemporary art.

The Longs also have a renowned art collection, which includes masterpieces by Cassatt, Renoir, Rivera, and others. In 2017, in honor of the museum’s 30th anniversary, they donated one of the great works from their collection to NMWA: a quintessential portrait by Impressionist Berthe Morisot titled Jeune Fille en Mauve (Young Woman in Mauve), 1880.

NMWA Founder Wilhelmina Cole Holladay says, “Terry and Joe have been with the museum since the beginning. Their regard for the mission and their friendship have been sources of support for over three decades. They are helping NMWA to right the balance for women in the arts through their personal engagement and generous philanthropy.”

In the arts, education and medicine, the Longs’ philanthropy in Texas is legendary. In 1999, they contributed the lead gift of $20 million to transform the Lester A. Palmer Auditorium into a new world-class venue where local performing arts could flourish. Renamed the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts, it is now the home of the Austin Lyric Opera, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and Ballet Austin. They also established the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, an acclaimed research institute fostering closer scholarly and cultural relations among the U.S. and countries in Latin America. Their programmatic funding has supported diverse disciplines, including medicine, law, business, education, pharmacy, music, and art, especially the Blanton Museum of Art at UT Austin.

The Longs are perhaps best known for having contributed $100 million to health-related institutions in The University of Texas System, particularly the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, and for their support of many first-generation students through the Long Scholars and Long Physicians programs. In recognition of their outstanding philanthropic commitment, in 2018 the couple received the Santa Rita Award, the highest honor given by the UT System Board of Regents.

Teresa Lozano Long, the daughter of a dairy farmer, grew up in Premont, Texas. As valedictorian of her high school, she attended UT Austin, earning bachelor of science and master of education degrees. She later became the first Hispanic woman to earn a doctorate in health and physical education at UT Austin. Terry Long has served on state and national boards and commissions, including the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a Distinguished Alumna of UT Austin and a member of the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.

Joe Long attended what is now Tarleton State University and received his bachelor’s degree from UT Austin. After graduation, he met Terry when both were teachers in Alice, Texas. While there, Terry had an interest in returning to UT Austin for a doctorate, and Joe wanted a law degree. Joe began working as an attorney first with the State Securities Board, then with the office of the Attorney General of Texas, before transitioning into private banking. Joe Long is also a Distinguished Alumnus of UT Austin, and he has served on and chaired many boards, including the board of the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

Madeleine Rast Award

The Madeleine Rast Award was established by the NMWA Endowment Foundation Board in honor of a major gift of $9 million from the Estate of Madeleine Rast. Endowment Co-Chair Carol Lascaris says, “We are so grateful to Madeleine Rast for planning this remarkable gift, which magnifies our museum’s strength and financial security. The 2017 bequest has strengthened, in perpetuity, NMWA’s mission to bring recognition to the achievements of women artists. This award in her name will help NMWA to celebrate others, over time, who exemplify a lifelong commitment to championing women and the arts.”

Madeleine G. Rast (1924–2017) was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and came to the United States as a young woman, settling in California. She was attracted to the entrepreneurial spirit and openness to new ideas in the U.S., and she worked hard to establish herself, working clerical jobs while pursuing a second degree in accounting. She began to excel professionally, eventually becoming a successful management auditor in the public and private sectors, but she was aware of not having the same support or opportunities as men in the field. She became a savvy businesswoman, excelling as an investor and in her accounting career, but she never forgot that she—and other women—faced barriers to their goals.

In addition to her belief in equity for women, she also believed strongly in taking action on her principles. Always interested in hearing about NMWA’s exhibitions and programs, Rast was constantly thinking of its future and financial health. Rast was also moved by the building itself, which she saw as a prominent, elegant home for a worthy mission. She saw the museum as the physical manifestation of the dream of supporting and celebrating women’s achievements in the arts. For Rast, her bequest provided an avenue to combine her love for the arts, her staunch belief in women’s independence, and her financial prowess.

The Rast Award is the first of its kind for NMWA. Its presentation is an important event in the museum’s 2019 celebration of Women‘s History Month. Other programs for Women’s History Month include NMWA’s signature #5WomenArtists social media campaign, the retrospective of Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling (March 22–July 28, 2019), and NMWA’s Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on March 23.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs and online content, the museum seeks to inspire dynamic exchanges about art and ideas. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement and social change. NMWA addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art by bringing to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists working today. The collections highlight painting, sculpture, photography and video by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Shirin Neshat, Faith Ringgold, Pipilotti Rist and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun.

NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C. It is open Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sun., noon–5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youth 18 and under. Admission is free the first Sunday of each month. For information, call 202-783-5000, visit nmwa.org, Broad Strokes Blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.