WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is pleased to present a wide range of exhibitions and programs, including gallery talks related to the exhibitions Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling and More is More: Multiples; a new version of the much raved about and in demand “Fierce Women” tour; and a Fresh Talk program exploring gender equity in jewelry design.
The first Sunday of every month is a Community Day with free admission to the public. The information below is current as of April 2019.
Fresh Talk: Accessory to Action—Adorning Wakanda
Sunday, June 30, 4:30–6 p.m.; followed by Catalyst, a cocktail hour with a topic and a twist, 6–8 p.m.
As Marvel Comics’ first licensed jewelry designer, Douriean Fletcher created the power-packed accessories for the blockbuster film Black Panther (2018). The Afrofuturist-inspired design propelled audiences into a world where power and gender roles were based on expertise and ability. With the jewelry in a starring role, Fletcher created looks that reflected gender equity in Wakandan society. Join us for a conversation that explores how we communicate gender, power and expertise through adornment. $25 general; $20 members, seniors, students. Price includes museum admission and Catalyst cocktail hour.
DC Art Book Fair
Sunday, July 7, 12–5 p.m.
This curated event spotlights small presses, artists and makers as they sell their independently published paper-based works. Shop a variety of creations including zines, books, comics and prints from more than 40 vendors. This event is organized by the DC Art Book Fair Collective: Malaka Gharib, artist/author of the graphic memoir I Was Their American Dream (2019); Alison Baitz, creator of the “On Flora” zine series; illustrator LA Johnson of The Intentional; and illustrator Elizabeth Graeber of A Field Guide For Redheads (2016). Free. No reservations required.
In the Galleries
Free Community Day
Sundays, June 2, July 7, August 4 and September 1, 12–5 p.m.
The first Sunday of every month is Community Day at NMWA, with free admission to the public. Take this opportunity to explore current exhibitions as well as the museum’s newly reinstalled collection. Free. No reservations required.
Drop-In Tour: Fierce Women 2.0
Sundays, June 2, July 7, August 4 and September 1, 1–2 p.m.
Discover a diverse cast of fierce women artists who refused to let men define their place; pushed back on the limited roles society accorded them; and blazed trails as artists, activists and innovators. If you’ve participated in our “Fierce Women” tour and want more, this is your chance to meet a new squad of pioneering artists. Inspired by Museum Hack, this unconventional, fast-paced tour is fun and fearless. Free. No reservations required, but space is limited. First come, first served—sign up at the Information Desk upon arrival. Tour departs from the Great Hall.
Most days, 2 p.m.
Join us for 30-minute “conversation pieces” most days at 2 p.m. These brief and informative experiences with museum staff spotlight two works on view. Check in at the Information Desk to learn more. Free with admission. No reservations required.
Lunchtime Gallery Talks
Most Wednesdays, June 1–September 30, 12–12:30 p.m.
Express lunchtime talks—30 minutes or less—are offered most Wednesdays. Facilitated by museum staff members, these conversational thematic talks highlight three to six works on view. Free. No reservations required.
Contemporary Women Artists from Art21
Sunday, June 2, 2:15–3:15 p.m.
In this three-part film series, learn about 13 contemporary women artists whose work is on view at NMWA. This series features segments from Art21’s productions Artist to Artist and Extended Play, as well as the Peabody Award-winning PBS television series Art in the Twenty-First Century. Free. No reservations required. Seating is first come, first served. Performance Hall opens at 2 p.m.
- Part 3: Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Kiki Smith, Valeska Soares and Ursula von Rydingsvard
Scout Program: Cadette Girl Scouts’ Book Artist Badge Program
Saturday, June 22, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Designed for Cadette Girl Scouts, though open to all interested students in grades 6–8, this interactive program introduces participants to the art of bookmaking. Through an introduction of the museum’s collection of artists’ books, an exploration of the anatomy of a book and an opportunity to use the tools and techniques of book artists, participants will walk away with a well-rounded understanding of the art. This program satisfies all five steps of the Cadette Book Artist Badge and provides a badge to each Girl Scout participant who successfully completes these requirements. $15. Reservations required.
Portrait Party for Young Learners
Saturday, August 17, 10–11 a.m.
Young Learner Tours, exclusively for children ages 3 to 6 and their guardians, are designed to get little bodies moving, minds thinking, hands making and mouths talking about works of art.
Participants go on an adventure through the galleries and look closely at works in the collection. They learn about the museum, practice museum manners and discover art concepts through developmentally appropriate discussions, a themed story and hands-on activities. Participants will learn about subjects in art through a story, and explore the galleries to compare two portraits; step into the shoes of portrait subjects through posing, and discover how body language and facial expressions express feelings; discover what artists teach us about sitters through their use of symbols, posture, color and texture; and sketch their own self-portraits, adding color and texture through collage to complete their artwork. Note: One adult chaperone per three young learners is required. Reservations required. Free.
Education programming is made possible by Mrs. Marjorie Rachlin, the Leo Rosner Foundation, SunTrust, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Wells Fargo, the Harriet E. McNamee Youth Education Fund, William and Christine Leahy, and the Junior League of Washington.
The Women, Arts, and Social Change public programs initiative is made possible through leadership gifts from Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Davis/ Dauray Family Fund, and the Susan and Jim Swartz Public Programs Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Revada Foundation, the Bernstein Family Foundation, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Exhibitions on View
Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling
March 22–July 28, 2019
Monumental wood sculptures by Ursula von Rydingsvard (b. 1942) evoke the grandeur and power of nature. They simultaneously bear evidence of the artist’s meticulous process of cutting, shaping and assembling her works from thousands of cedar blocks. The Contour of Feeling focuses on von Rydingsvard’s work since 2000 and her continued commitment to experimentation. The presentation includes many sculptures not previously exhibited in the United States. Made from wood and other organic materials, including leather, silk and hair, these works present a window into the distinctive synthesis of emotional fragility and imposing scale that defines von Rydingsvard’s art. The exhibition is organized by the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, and guest curator Mark Rosenthal.
Power in My Hand: Women Poets, Women Artists, and Social Change
April 1–August 30, 2019, in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center
Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.
A shared yearning for free expression has animated an enduring solidarity between women poets and artists. Using words and images, and brimming with passion and determination, they communicate with and inspire one another across geographic boundaries and historic eras. Such devotion is evident in Muriel Rukeyser’s honor poem for the German artist Käthe Kollwitz and in Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party homage to Emily Dickinson. The critic Lucy Lippard has argued that “making poetry out of politics, making art from lives lived outside of power, and making politics out of that art and poetry—these are the three solid dimensions, the third power of the women’s liberation movement.” This collection of printed poems, artists’ books and art objects celebrates these creative and social bonds.
More is More: Multiples
May 3–September 22, 2019
Multiples—three-dimensional art objects produced in series of identical editions—find their way from the shelves of retail stores into museum collections and the homes of consumers worldwide. This focus exhibition, featuring approximately 25 multiples, highlights the medium’s sense of whimsy. Textiles, ceramics, clothing, decorative objects and toys by women artists frequently offer tongue-in-cheek social and cultural commentary. A number of works in More is More were created to benefit charitable initiatives within the arts. Eye-catching multiples by Cindy Sherman, Mickalene Thomas, Barbara Kruger, Helen Marten, Jiha Moon and others invite inquiry into the temptation of retail and the allure of fine art.
Judy Chicago—The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction
September 19, 2019–January 20, 2020
NMWA presents the newest body of work by feminist artist and pop-cultural icon Judy Chicago. Nearly 40 works of painted porcelain and glass, as well as two large bronze sculptures, comprise The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction. Through this series, the artist reflects on her own mortality and issues an appeal for compassion and justice for all earthly creatures affected by human greed. Chicago’s bold, graphic style viscerally communicates the intense emotion she experienced while contemplating her own individual death as well as the death of entire species. Visually striking and emotionally charged, Chicago’s works from this series are a continuation of her commitment to challenge the status quo and advocate for change.
September 19, 2019–January 20, 2020
As a pendant to Judy Chicago’s reflection on the transience of earthly life, this exhibition features fierce, dreamy and witty images of the female figure integrated into Earth’s terrain. Drawn primarily from NMWA’s collection of modern and contemporary photography, the exhibition features artists who make the female body their sculptural material, positioning figures in natural surroundings to suggest provocative narratives. Figures balance on blocks of ice, struggle against the wind on ocean shores and scramble to the tops of precariously tall trees. The exhibition includes Janaina Tschäpe’s series of 100 large-scale photographs, “100 Little Deaths” (1996–2002), exhibited together for the first time. In Tschäpe’s immersive installation, images show the artist lying down in fields and on beaches, pathways, terraces and forest floors in locations around the world. Earthly life comes to an end, but Live Dangerously illuminates the planet’s surface as a stunning stage for human drama.
New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Betsabeé Romero
September 28, 2018–September 20, 2020
The dynamic works of Mexico City-based artist Betsabeé Romero (b. 1963)form the newest chapter in NMWA’s public art program, the New York Avenue Sculpture Project, established in 2010. Signals of a Long Road Together comprises four sculptures developed expressly for this installation. Using a process similar to tattooing, Romero carves figures and intricate patterns into the sidewalls and treads of tires, which are then filled with gleaming metallic paint. The tires are assembled into totemic structures that speak to themes of human migration and the natural environment. Romero’s sculptures are the first in the New York Avenue Sculpture Project to incorporate interior lighting, which gives each piece an otherworldly glow after dark.
Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling is organized by The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, and guest curator Mark Rosenthal. Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; Heidi and Tom McWilliams; Agnes Gund; Harvey S. Shipley Miller, the Shipley Miller Foundation; the Arcadia Foundation; Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson; the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation; Katie Adams Schaeffer and Tony Schaeffer; Maja Paumgarten and John Parker; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; ForGood Fund; Henry S. McNeil; Constance H. Williams; Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz; Tony and Lynn Hitschler; and Anonymous Donors. Presentation of the exhibition at NMWA is made possible by RBC Wealth Management and City National Bank, an anonymous donor, Clara M. Lovett, Share Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Galerie Lelong & Co.
More is More: Multiples, 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.
Judy Chicago—The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The exhibition is made possible by the MaryRoss Taylor Exhibition Fund.
Live Dangerously is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts and is generously supported by the museum’s members.
New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Betsabeé Romero is made possible with funding provided by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Public Art Building Communities Program, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, with support provided by the Sue J. Henry and Carter G. Phillips Exhibition Fund. The exhibition is organized by the museum in partnership with the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) and with assistance from the Embassy of Mexico’s Cultural Institute.
HOURS: Museum hours are 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: 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.