Urgent Museum Notice

Summer 2021 Programs Calendar

A slim, light-skinned woman wearing a long, emerald-green dress gazes up at the viewer from the foot of the bed, her bare feet near the headboard. Brown hair radiates from her head in 10 curled, snake-like segments. Her arms, bent at the elbows, extend from her body to form a W.
July to September 2021

WASHINGTON—This summer the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents a lineup of innovative online experiences designed to give participants meaningful moments with art. Celebrate the birthdays of women artists with interactive virtual happy hours, advocate for gender equity in the arts or learn about highlights from NMWA’s collection in ever-changing docent talks.

The information below is current as of April 2021. For more information, visit the museum’s online calendar.

#5WomenArtists Events

Virtual Happy Hours
Join NMWA staff and special guests to celebrate the birthdays of women artists. Make specialty cocktails 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 it, please consider making a donation.

Throughout 2021
Can you name five women artists? Many people cannot. Join our award-winning social media campaign to help increase gender equity in the arts. The campaign calls attention to the unequal treatment of women in the art world and their continued underrepresentation in museums, galleries and auction houses. Use #5WomenArtists on Instagram and Twitter and tag @WomenInTheArts to share important contributions by women artists—all year long.

Art Talks

Art Chats @ 5
Fridays, July 2–September 24, 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.

Collection Highlights Talks
Wednesday, July 14, 5:30–6:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 24, 1–2 p.m.; Wednesday, August 11, 5:30–6:30 p.m.; Saturday, August 28, 1–2 p.m.

Unable to visit the museum in person? Check out one of 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. To support these programs and others like it, please consider making a donation.

For Educators

Virtual Educator Summer Camp Series
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, July 12–30, 10–11:30 a.m.

NMWA’s virtual Educator Summer Camp is designed for anyone who has chosen, or been thrust into, the role of a teacher. All educators are welcome—schoolteachers, adults supporting students who are learning remotely, home school instructors, scout leaders and more. Independent, 90-minute sessions on a variety of topics are offered. Guest instructors include book artists and teaching artists from all over the country. Topics include:

  • Step-by-step bookmaking
  • Easy art-making at home
  • Conversations about art
  • Introductions to women artists
  • Discussing art with learners

Free. Registration required for each session; register online beginning May 1. Registrants receive a recommended supply list, digital resources and a meeting link in advance of each session. 

In the Galleries

Free Community Days
Sundays, July 4, July 18, August 8, 12–5 p.m. 
Join us for free Community Days! Visitors will have the opportunity to explore current exhibitions as well as the museum’s collection. Free. Advance reservation of timed tickets required. Reserve at nmwa.org/tickets.

On Demand

Online Exhibition: Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend
View the online exhibition of the first survey of Sonya Clark’s 25-year career. Clark 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.

Online Exhibition: Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood
View photographs by Mary Ellen Mark (1940–2015), an icon of modern photography. Her depictions of girls and young women represent a variety of circumstances from all around the globe. While Mark photographed people from all walks of life, she was particularly interested in children. “I don’t like to photograph children as children,” Mark said. “I like to see them as adults, as who they really are. I’m always looking for the side of who they might become.”

In Conversation: Rania Matar and Ambreen Butt
NMWA Assistant Curator Orin Zahra speaks with photographer Rania Matar and mixed-media artist Ambreen Butt, whose art examines and probes contemporary global politics and female identities. Matar and Butt discuss how their works respond to and challenge American preconceptions of Middle Eastern and Muslim women, reflecting on conditions of humanity across cultural borders.

Coffee with Chief Curator Katie Wat: Special Presentation of Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend
Grab a coffee and enjoy a special presentation of the works and themes in the exhibition Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend.


Julie Chen: True to Life
Through June 30, 2021

Renowned book artist Julie Chen combines highly complex structures and poetic reflections to create ambitious artists’ books that raise questions about time, memory and human survival. Chen carefully engineers books in ways that create an unmistakable, powerful unity of text and object. Julie Chen: True to Life includes a selection of the California-based artist’s captivating works from throughout her
33-year career. 

Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood
Through August 8, 2021
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 recent donation of more than 160 photographs by the artist, given to the museum by members of the Photography Buyers Syndicate, this exhibition presents approximately 30 images Mark made throughout her career depicting girls and young women. Photographs from many of the artist’s best-known series reflect her wondrous and uncanny vision of girlhood.

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.

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 will 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 opens 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.

Visitor Information

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

SOCIAL MEDIA: Broad Strokes blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.