Building Renovation

Architectural rendering of the gallery. People of all ages look at artwork hung on white and magenta walls.
The building’s first full renovation since 1987, this restoration project will honor the structure’s history while improving its interior spaces, mechanical systems, and exterior envelope.

Related Quote

The bones of this building are good. It is a majestic structure—timeless and beautiful. Revitalizing the building is all about positioning the museum for a triumphant future.”
Sandra Vicchio, Architect
Nighttime photograph of the building exterior with car lights streaking in the foreground.
Photo Credit: Cameron Robinson

Key Improvements

We need an updated building to complement the groundbreaking work we do to champion women artists. The building’s first full renovation since 1987, the project will honor the structure’s history while improving its interior spaces, mechanical systems, and exterior envelope.

Key improvements include enlarged gallery space, a new destination for researchers and education programs, enhanced amenities and accessibility for visitors as well as infrastructure and storage upgrades to improve the long-term conservation and security of the museum’s collection of more than 5,500 works.

Imagine a restored building where outdoor sculpture engages visitors before they enter. A completely redesigned visitor experience awaits, beginning with an orientation gallery that tells the stories of women artists. Envision a refurbished Great Hall where programs and events are held daily. Improved signage, wayfinding, and ADA accessibility help visitors navigate through the newly renovated spaces.

  • New and enlarged galleries to accomodate historic and contemporary art and multifaceted installations.
  • Upgraded lighting for better viewing of the artwork.
  • Climate control systems to protect art and visitors.
  • Renovated collections storage with new conservation and exhibition workspaces.

  • Innovative technology to enhance visitor experience and bring the museum’s collection to a global audience.
  • A brand-new Learning Commons complete with exhibition galleries.
  • A state-of-the-art Reading Room and Archives in the Library and Research Center—a destination for researchers, students, and the community to gather.
  • A first-ever education studio for hands-on art activities, live-streamed programming, and performance rehearsals.

Architectural rendering of a cross-section of the building. The bottom is the entrance lobby with people gathering and the top two floors have people going up and down the stairs while looking at art.
National Museum of Women in the Arts renovation project: entrance lobby, rotunda, grand stair, and Teresa Lozano Long Gallery; Rendering by Sandra Vicchio & Associates, LLC, with Marshall Craft Associates, Inc.
Multiple people attend a meeting around a large rectangular conference table.

Additional Information

Project Overview

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.
Explore the ambitious campaign for a top-to-bottom transformation of the museum’s historic building.

Capital Campaign

Three abstract outdoor sculptures of voluptuous figures covered in bright patterns and dancing with outstretched arms.
Now is the time to invest in NMWA and women artists. Help the museum reach new heights by supporting our historic $67.5 million campaign.

Director’s Message

A woman with light skin and short brown hair posing behind a white assemblage sculpture.
Read a special letter from Susan Fisher Sterling, NMWA’s Alice West Director, on the building’s first full renovation project since 1987.


Old color, front-facing photograph of the museum exterior from 1984.
View our timeline of the building’s evolution, including key dates of the capital campaign and ambitious renovation project.

Project FAQs

Birds-eye rendering of what the fourth floor will look like, includes a view of the new Library learning commons, the Education Center, and new gallery space..
Check out Frequently Asked Questions about the building closure, renovation, and campaign.

News and Media

Rendering shaped like an upside-down letter T shows the museum great hall and stairwell.
Stay up-to-date with announcements, news, and press on NMWA’s building renovation project and campaign progress.