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
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.
Beginning in 2015, NMWA undertook a rigorous assessment of the historic building and created an extensive plan for renovations that apply recent advances in engineering, building codes, and sustainability. NMWA’s Board of Trustees selected the principal consultants based on their expertise and experience with similar projects, including work in art museums and historic buildings in the District of Columbia.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts’s monthly talk show connects viewers to the museum and its mission to champion women artists. In this episode, conservator Wendy Jessup and architects Cara Versace and Sandra Vicchio discuss their involvement with the NMWA renovation.
Explore the ambitious campaign for a top-to-bottom transformation of the museum’s historic building.