Urgent Museum Notice

Collection Audio Guide

A still life painting featuring an asymmetrical arrangement of flowers; the central section features pink, orange, yellow, and blue flowers and is dramatically highlighted compared to the background and outer edge of arrangement.
Listen to the Selections from the Collection audio guide.

Hear NMWA staff members discuss key works and artists from the museum’s collection, currently on view in the third-floor gallery installation, Selections from the Collection.

Large sculpture in white marble depicts a seated older woman cradling the body of a young boy whose limp body falls over her legs. The boy's legs are tangled in a fisherman's net while waves crash at the woman's feet.
Sarah Bernhardt, Après la tempête (After the Storm), ca. 1876; White marble, 29 1/2 x 24 x 23 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay

Sarah Bernhardt

Born 1844, Paris; Died 1923, Paris

Hannah Shambroom, exhibition coordinator, discusses Sarah Bernhardt’s non-theatrical role as a sculptor and the eccentric artist’s fascination with death.

A circular wreath made of tightly coiled hair with strands escaping.
Sonya Clark, Hair Wreath, 2012; Human hair and wire, 13 x 13 x 2 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of The Tony Podesta Collection, Washington DC; © Sonya Clark; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Sonya Clark

Born 1967, Washington, D.C.

Learn about Sonya Clark’s Hair Wreath and her interest in human hair as an artistic medium with Exhibition Coordinator Hannah Shambroom.

Two young black women sit closely together on the ground with arms and legs entwined suggesting an intimate relationship. They are looking off to the site with wide smiles.
Zanele Muholi, Katlego Mashiloane and Nosipho Lavuta, Ext. 2, Lakeside, Johannesburg, 2007; Chromogenic print, 30 x 30 in.; Museum purchase: The Paul and Emily Singer Family Foundation with additional support from Nancy Nelson Stevenson; © Zanele Muholi; Courtesy of the artist, Yancey Richardson, New York, and Stevenson Cape Town / Johannesburg

Zanele Muholi

Born 1972, Umlazi, South Africa

Chief Curator Katie Wat considers the significance of Zanele Muholi’s non-binary identity in the context of NMWA’s mission.

Abstract painting features a vivid yellow background covered by circles, daubs, and straight and wavy lines in red, orange, cobalt, sky blue, and violet. Arcing red strokes evoke concentric circles. Straight lines in other hues radiate out from the center circle like a starburst.
Mildred Thompson, Magnetic Fields, 1990; Oil on canvas, 62 x 48 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of the Georgia Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Georgia Committee and the National Museum of Women in the Arts; © The Mildred Thompson Estate; Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Mildred Thompson

Born 1936, Jacksonville, Florida; Died 2003, Atlanta

Associate Curator Ginny Treanor introduces Mildred Thompson, an abstract painter who definitely deserves to be better known.

A still life painting featuring an asymmetrical arrangement of flowers; the central section features pink, orange, yellow, and blue flowers and is dramatically highlighted compared to the background and outer edge of arrangement.
Rachel Ruysch, Roses, Convolvulus, Poppies and Other Flowers in an Urn on a Stone Ledge, ca. late 1680s; Oil on canvas, 42 1/2 x 33 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Rachel Ruysch

Born 1664, The Hague; Died 1750, Amsterdam

Learn about the life of artist Rachel Ruysch from Associate Curator Ginny Treanor, who also provides a very useful primer on how to pronounce the Dutch artist’s name.

A horizontal canvas combines collaged paper, such as a scrap of a U.S. map, comic strip, and pictographs; cloth swatches; scrawled and dripped paint; and phrases like “It takes hard work to keep racism alive” and “Oh! Zone.” The work’s title appears in red paint right of center.
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Indian, Indio, Indigenous, 1992; Oil and collage on canvas, 60 x 100 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Museum purchase: Members’ Acquisition Fund; © Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Born 1940, St. Ignatius, Flathead Reservation, Montana

Explore Indian, Indio, Indigenous, the complex narrative landscape by artist-activist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, with Orin Zahra, assistant curator.

The wall-sized, horizontal sculpture consists of black rubber tires and tubing that has been sliced, stripped, woven, looped, twisted and otherwise manipulated into an expressive and abstract high-relief tableau.
Chakaia Booker, Acid Rain, 2001; Rubber tires and wood, 120 x 240 x 36 in.; NMWA, Museum purchase: Members’ Acquisition Fund; © Chakaia Booker

Chakaia Booker

Born 1953, Newark, New Jersey

Ever wonder how we got Chakaia Booker’s massive sculpture Acid Rain through the small gallery door? Chief Curator Katie Wat reveals the answer and other quirky, behind-the-scenes details.

Colorful quilt with a multi-patterned background that depicts five medium skin toned, bare breasted dancing women wearing skirts of bananas and yellow necklaces. Below, from left to right, a medium-dark skin toned and light skin toned men and women interact and play brass instruments.
Faith Ringgold, American Collection #4: Jo Baker’s Bananas, 1997; Acrylic on canvas with pieced fabric border, 80 1/2 x 76 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Purchased with funds donated by the Estate of Barbara Bingham Moore, Olga V. Hargis Family Trusts, and the Members’ Acquisition Fund; Faith Ringgold © 1997; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Faith Ringgold

Born 1930, New York City

Exhibition Coordinator Hannah Shambroom introduces Faith Ringgold’s Jo Baker’s Bananas and discusses what the artist and her subject have in common.

A mass-produced, ceramic German shepherd sits upright and alert with mouth open and tongue extended as if panting. Panels of elaborate hand-crafted crochet in shades of mint, citron, and emerald green form a skin-tight web that entirely envelops the dog.
Joana Vasconcelos, Viriato, 2005; Faience dog and handmade cotton crochet, 29 1/2 x 17 3/4 x 15 3/4 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Heather and Tony Podesta Collection; © Joana Vasconcelos; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Joana Vasconcelos

Born 1971, Paris

Discover fascinating facts about artist Joana Vasconcelos, as well as the Portuguese influences evident in Virato, with Assistant Curator Orin Zahra.