While traveling abroad in the 1960s, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay and her husband, Wallace, admired art by 17th-century Flemish painter Clara Peeters. Returning to the U.S., they discovered that none of the leading art history textbooks referenced Peeters or any other female artist. Inspired to rediscover this lost heritage, the Holladays began acquiring works by women artists and amassing a library of research and archival materials. From these collections, Holladay established the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in 1981; the museum’s doors opened in 1987.
Founded to redefine traditional histories of art, NMWA exhibits, preserves, acquires, and researches art by women and teaches the public about their accomplishments. Take a look at NMWA by the numbers.
Cost of admission on the first Sunday of every month, as a part of NMWA’s free community days.
NMWA is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative contributions.
Number of artists featured in the current special exhibition Total Art: Contemporary Video.
Countries represented by NMWA’s international members.
Women artists identified in the current edition of Janson’s Basic History of Western Art (9th Edition)—up from zero in the 1970s.
High-resolution images of artwork in NMWA’s collection presented on the Google Art Project beginning in March 2014. The resolution of these images, combined with a custom-built zoom viewer, allows art lovers to discover minute aspects of paintings they may have never seen up close before.
Issues of Women in the Arts magazine produced and published by NMWA, which began as a newsletter in the summer of 1983, four years prior to the public opening of the museum.
Special exhibitions presented by NMWA celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts.
The year NMWA opened to the public.
Average hours worked per year by NMWA’s dedicated volunteers.
Objects preserved and displayed in NMWA’s collection.
Volumes maintained at the NMWA’s Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center.
NMWA members around the world representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Miles to Australia, home to the NMWA member who lives the farthest away.
Square feet of the main building housing NMWA, originally a Masonic temple, purchased in 1983.
The number of people served by NMWA’s education programs.
The endowment goal reached for the Legacy of Women in the Arts campaign during NMWA’s 25th anniversary.
Pixels contained in the Google Art Project’s high-resolution photograph of Rachel Ruysch’s Roses, Convolvulus, Poppies, and other Flowers in an Urn on a Stone Ledge (ca. 1680s).
There’s just one NMWA, the only museum solely dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing, and literary arts. The museum’s collection features 4,500 works from the 16th century to the present created by more than 1,000 artists, including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Chakaia Booker, and Nan Goldin, along with collections of artists’ books, 18th-century silver tableware, and botanical prints.
NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., in a landmark building near the White House. Come visit: the museum is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youths 18 and under. Free Community Days take place on the first Sunday of each month. For more information about NMWA, call 202-783-5000, visit nmwa.org, Facebook, or Twitter.