National Museum of Women in the Arts

1250 New York Ave NW Washington

D.C. Museums You May Have Missed/National Museum of Women in the Arts
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National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA)

This is truly a one of a kind museum you will come across in Washington - or anywhere for that matter. That's because it's the "only major museum in the world solely dedicated" to showcasing the achievements of women in the arts. More than 30 years since after its doors first opened in 1987, the thriving museum hosts a collection including the works of Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassat and many others. The museum is housed in an old Masonic temple, which itself is on the National Register of Historic Places.

NMWA’s collections feature more than 5,500 works from the 16th century to today created by more than 1,000 artists. Displayed according to key themes, the installation emphasizes connections between historical and contemporary art. The collections encompass work in all mediums, including paintings, drawings and works on paper. NMWA has hosted more than 300 exhibitions to date. Some of its more recent ones include She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World (2016), Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today (2017), and Women House (2018).

The museum hosts a wide range of public events and educational programs. Women, Arts, and Social Change (WASC) is an acclaimed public programs initiative highlighting the power of women and the arts as catalysts for change. These programs convene women from a range of disciplines whose socially conscious ideas are reshaping lives and economies, engaging communities, and empowering women. Fresh Talk, the initiative’s signature program series, assembles prominent women in the arts for creative conversations. Fresh Talk champions women through the arts and advocates for social change. WASC also features Cultural Capital program partnerships, which build community connections with area organizations to increase the museum’s visibility and reach new audiences. Shenson Chamber Music Concerts feature free performances for emerging and established women musicians.

NMWA Public Programs & Events Calendar

NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C. It is open Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sun., noon–5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youth 18 and under. Admission is free the first Sunday of each month. For more information, call 202-783-5000, visit, Broad Strokes Blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Cover photo "Lively Ladies" by Kevin H. is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Copy rich text

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D.C. Museums You May Have Missed

National Museum of Women in the Arts

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