“The Bigger Picture”

Museum visitors attend a docent-led tour.
New Program Series Explores Art History Canon through Women Artists

WASHINGTON—Expand your knowledge of women’s contributions to the history of Western art in a new monthly program series at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). Traditional art history surveys continue to marginalize women. In “The Bigger Picture,” each program will shake up 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.

Sessions will combine lectures in the new studio/classroom with conversations in the galleries, led by Director of Education and Interpretation Deborah Gaston. She details the compelling biographies of intrepid women artists, many of whom innovated and advanced different mediums and genres. Attendees are invited to share their own insights and observations.

The full schedule and topics follow:

“Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”
Sunday, January 28, 2–3:30 p.m.

With a nod to Linda Nochlin’s landmark 1971 essay, explore some of the social and political systems and beliefs that defined the place of women in the history of art for centuries.

Face to Face
Sunday, February 25, 2–3:30 p.m.

Who is present and who is absent from the history of portraiture? Consider portrait artists and their subjects from multiple centuries and discover the ways contemporary artists engage, disrupt, and extend that legacy.

Object Lessons
Sunday, March 24, 2–3:30 p.m.

Women helped pioneer the development of still life as an independent subject category and continued to create imagery that tells stories of lives, cultures, and eras through the things humans own, collect, consume, and value.

Natural Wonders
Sunday, April 28, 2–3:30 p.m.

Intrepid, curious women of the past and present have looked to the natural world for inspiration, seeking to capture and communicate its strangeness, beauty, and complexity.

All in the Family
Sunday, May 26, 2–3:30 p.m.

Just as families take many forms, images of and about family embody a range of meaning and intention, whether communicating immediate connections or distant ancestry.

Spaces and Places
Sunday, August 25, 2–3:30 p.m.

How do we shape our physical environment and how are we shaped by it? Consider the ways women claim space for themselves and their art and draw inspiration from specific locations.  

Material Matters
Sunday, September 22, 2–3:30 p.m.

An artist’s medium carries meaning, and women both innovated with unconventional materials and techniques and elevated historically undervalued ones.

Artists’ Actions
Sunday, October 27, 2–3:30 p.m.

Through mark-making, performance, appropriation, and activism, among other actions, artists explore and question identity, politics, the environment, gender and the nature of art itself. 

Each program is $25; $22 for seniors/students/D.C. residents; $20 for members. Topics vary from month to month, and attendance at all programs is not required. 10% discount applied when you register for at least four different lectures at the same time (paid in a single transaction); 20% discount applied when you register for all eight lectures at the same time.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs and online content, the museum inspires 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 collection highlights a wide range of works in a variety of mediums by artists including Rosa Bonheur, Louise Bourgeois, Lalla Essaydi, Lavinia Fontana, Frida Kahlo, Hung Liu, Zanele Muholi, Faith Ringgold, Niki de Saint Phalle and Amy Sherald.

NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. It is open Tues.–Sun., 10 a.m.–5 p.m., until 8 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month and closed on Mondays and select holidays. Admission is $16 for adults, $13 for D.C. residents and visitors 70 and over, and free for visitors 21 and under. Admission is free the first Sunday and second Wednesday of each month. For information, call 202-783-5000, visit nmwa.orgBroad Strokes blog, Facebook or Instagram.

Media Contacts

Amy Mannarino, amannarino@nmwa.org, (202) 783-7373
Emma Filar, efilar@nmwa.org, (202) 783-7377