Summer Recap: NMWA’s YPF

It has been a busy summer for NMWA’s Young Professionals’ Forum (YPF). Founded more than six years ago by co-chairs Meredith Harman and Jessica Sterchi, the YPF’s mission is to bring together, mentor, and provide leadership for young female professionals from the D.C. metro area through networking and social events. This summer, the YPF has partnered with other women-focused associations in the area for some exciting events.

Members of Women in Government Relations and NMWA's YPF at the Experience the Arts event

Members of Women in Government Relations and NMWA’s YPF at the Experience the Arts event

On June 12, 2012, NMWA welcomed members of Women in Government Relations for their annual event, Experience the Arts. Co-hosted by the YPF, this event recognized the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the Maryland Writing Project for their commitment to arts education in the D.C. community. In addition to hearing from the leaders of both organizations, guests enjoyed a performance of Catalyst, a one-woman docudrama created and performed by Brooke Haycock depicting the important role of educators in the lives of students.

In July, the YPF teamed up with the American Women’s Society of Certified Public Accountants to bring life and career coach Hilaire Henthorne to NMWA. Hilaire spoke on the topic “From Distressed to De-stressed: Wellness Wisdom for Women” and gave members of both organizations helpful tips for keeping work, family, and relationships in balance while maintaining our own mental and physical health. As most female professionals admit that they are consistently stressed and take very little time for themselves, the topic of this presentation was very apropos for the YPF.

On August 14, members of the YPF convened at i Ricchi in Dupont Circle for a happy hour featuring complimentary appetizers and half-price beverages. This was a great opportunity for members to network with one another and celebrate the final month of summer.

If you live in the D.C. metro area and would like more information about YPF membership or events, email Join us for more fun social events and networking!

Committee News: Friends of NMWA, U.K., Celebrates the 25th Anniversary

To celebrate the global mission of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the museum’s London committee, formally known as Friends of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, U.K., staged a series of events. In London and then in New York, the museum’s extended community united behind the goal of acquiring a significant sculpture, New Bird II by Dame Elisabeth Frink, RA, to donate to NMWA.

Elisabeth Frink, New Bird II, 1965

Elisabeth Frink, New Bird II, 1965

In February, Friends of NMWA, U.K., held a spectacular event to kick off these celebrations—a gala and sale of work by seventeen women artists working in silver. More than 100 people gathered for the gala evening event, and a steady stream of visitors came to the London West Bank Gallery for the following day’s sale. Two of the silver artists gave talks and demonstrations: Ndidi Ekubia on “Traditional Silversmithing Techniques” and Kathryn Hinton on “The Craft of Digital Tooling.” Under Beth Colocci’s leadership, the artists had been carefully selected to represent diverse design styles, price points, and object types. There was something for everyone, from whimsical silver straws by Rebecca Joselyn to fluidly shaped candlesticks by Ekubia, to architectural jewelry by Ute Decker.

The Silver by Women artists generously gave 25 percent of their proceeds to the London committee’s Silver Anniversary Campaign, intended to purchase the sculpture by Frink, an important British woman artist who is not currently represented in NMWA’s collection.

But the gap would not be completely filled without additional funding support. Silver by Women donations raised about two-thirds of the amount needed to acquire New Bird II. Much of the balance has come from two sources: the many individuals who understand the importance of British women artists receiving greater recognition outside the U.K., and the cross-border cooperation with Kentshire Galleries in New York City. (If you would like to support this gift, as well as future acquisitions of art by British women for the Women’s Museum, please donate here:

When they learned that participating silver artist Ute Decker had an upcoming exhibition in New York at Kentshire Galleries, Patti White, a member of the London committee, reached out to Sarah Bucknell Treco, a New York-based member of NMWA’s National Advisory Board, and they collaborated to plan an opening reception on April 18. The U.S. opening reception for the artist’s work was collaboratively planned as a celebration of NMWA’s 25th anniversary year. Kentshire generously donated 10 percent of the evening’s proceeds to the campaign, assisting in the acquisition of the Frink sculpture.

Kentshire Galleries co-owners Marcie Imberman and Ellen Israel, artist Ute Decker, and NMWA Deputy Director Ilene Gutman at the April 18 event

Kentshire Galleries co-owners Marcie Imberman and Ellen Israel, artist Ute Decker, and NMWA Deputy Director Ilene Gutman at the April 18 event

The exhibition opening at the Kentshire Gallery was both an intimate experience and an inspirational success. Kentshire principals Ellen Israel and Marcie Imberman greeted the evening’s crowd with lovely refreshments and a warm welcome. Then, NMWA Deputy Director Ilene Gutman spoke about the museum’s founding and the celebrations planned for this anniversary year, including the stunning exhibition of Revolution-era French paintings, Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections. Gutman also brought greetings from NMWA Founder Wilhelmina Holladay, who was being honored that same evening at the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center, receiving a First Award for being an extraordinary woman and first in her field.

Artist Ute Decker described the conceptual origins and material selection process behind her distinctive architectural jewelry—each unique piece is made from Fair Trade gold or recycled silver. Her compelling vision fascinated the audience.

The successful events surrounding the Silver Anniversary Campaign organized by Friends of NMWA, U.K., underscore the common goals, strong ties, and tremendous cooperation of NMWA’s committees and friends in supporting the museum’s mission.

For their generosity in this campaign, Friends of NMWA, U.K., particularly wishes to recognize Farah and Hassan Alaghband, Monique Bahadur, Penny Baylis, Nancy Broadbent Casserley, Michele and Beth Colocci, Sarah Cooke, Belinda de Gaudemar, Clara Freeman, Lisa Garrison, Mercedes Hoffman, Hans and Jayne Hufschmid, Karen and Tom Kalaris, Evi Kaplanis, Janet Martin, Cassie Murray, Janice Sacher, Dasha Shenkman, Julie Skattum, Cornelia von Rittberg, George and Patti White, and Susan Zimny.

Friends of NMWA, U.K., would also like to thank the artists that particpated in Silver by Women: Susan Beale, Abigail Brown, Angela Cork, Ute Decker, Ndidi Ekubia, Shelby Fitzpatrick, Karina Gill, Jo Hayes Ward, Kathryn Hinton, Polly Horwich, Rebecca Joselyn, Marion Kane, Nan Nan Liu, Jane MacIntosh, Susan May, Emily Nixon, and Maya Selway.

Royalists to Romantics, now open at NMWA!

Chief Curator Jordana Pomeroy leads a tour on Member Preview Day

Chief Curator Jordana Pomeroy leads a tour on Member Preview Day

On Member Preview Day for Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections, NMWA had wonderful attendance by area members, who enjoyed seeing the works on view and the activities planned through the day. The exhibition, which is getting rave reviews from critics, showcased French Revolution-era artists whose work has rarely been seen outside of France—these portraits, landscapes, history paintings, sculptures, and botanical drawings illuminate the time period and women’s signal contributions to its artwork. Through galleries centered on themes of travel and knowledge, natural history, families, reinventing the past, scandal and power, theater, and working relations, visitors loved the variety of the works on view and appreciated the artists’ skill.

Laura Auricchio discussing "Royalists and Revolutionaries" on Member Preview Day

Laura Auricchio discussing "Royalists and Revolutionaries" on Member Preview Day

During a highly attended lecture, “Royalists and Revolutionaries: Women Artists in the French Revolution,” Chair of Humanities and Associate Professor of Art History at The New School Laura Auricchio enlivened the day for visiting members by discussing the social and political dynamics that women artists faced during this tumultuous period.

Celia Reyer beginning her residency project at NMWA

Celia Reyer beginning her residency project at NMWA

Another exciting event during Member Preview Day was the first in-gallery session of artist-in-residence and womenswear designer Celia Reyer, who is constructing a period-specific Brunswick traveling coat inspired by the fashions in the portraiture in Royalists to Romantics. Reyer will continue to work in the galleries March 4, 11, 18, and 25, and April 1 and 8. Her work-in-progress will be on view throughout the exhibition. Reyer’s Q&A sessions proved popular—she was able to discuss her process and inspiration, adding a new dimension of interest to the exhibition.

Royalists to Romantics is on view through July 29. For additional information about the exhibition and related programming, visit

Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections

Opening next Friday, February 24, Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections features 77 paintings, prints, and sculptural works from 1750 to 1850—many of which have never been seen outside of France. In keeping with NMWA’s mission to rediscover and celebrate women artists of the past and demonstrate their continued relevance, the museum’s curators spent months scouring the collections of dozens of French museums and libraries to cull rarely-seen works by women artists. Royalists to Romantics showcases these exceptional works and reveals how the tumultuous period—which saw the flowering of the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the terrors of the French revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon, and the restoration of the monarchy—affected the lives and careers of women artists. The exhibition will be on view through July 29, 2012.

Image of Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Portrait of a Woman, 1787

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Portrait of a Woman, 1787; Oil on canvas, 39 ⅞ x 32 in.; Musée des beaux-arts, Quimper

Royalists to Romantics is the first exhibition to focus on women artists of this time period in France and demonstrate how they navigated a highly gendered world that presented different opportunities for education and patronage than for their male counterparts,” said NMWA Chief Curator Dr. Jordana Pomeroy. “The exhibition and catalogue for Royalists to Romantics will help to banish the obscurity that has veiled the legacy of many 18th-century French women artists.”

Featuring 35 artists, including Marguerite Gérard, Antoine Cecile Haudebourt-Lescot, Adélaïde Labille-Guillard, Sophie Rude, Anne Vallayer-Coster, and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun, the exhibition explores the political and social dynamics that shaped their world and influenced their work. Some of these artists flourished with support of such aristocratic patrons as Marie Antoinette, who not only appointed her favorite female artists Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun and Anne Vallayer-Coster to court, but advocated their acceptance into the Académie Royale de peinture et de sculpture—an official seal of approval that could establish an artist’s career. The political upheavals of the French Revolution and the following decades brought a new set of challenges for women artists.

Image of Adrienne Marie Louise Grandpierre-Deverzy, The Studio of Abel de Pujol, 1822

Adrienne Marie Louise Grandpierre-Deverzy, The Studio of Abel de Pujol, 1822; Oil on canvas, 37 7/8 x 50 7/8 in.; Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

“In celebration of the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ 25th anniversary, we are delighted to present Royalists to Romantics, an exhibition dedicated to a group of extraordinary 18th-century women artists that inspired our founder, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay,” said NMWA Alice West Director, Dr. Susan Fisher Sterling. “Like other important historical surveys NMWA has organized, including An Imperial Collection: Women Artists from the State Hermitage Museum and Italian Women Artists: From Renaissance to Baroque, bringing this great art to the U.S. from the Louvre, Versailles and other French national collections demonstrates our continued commitment to new scholarship about exceptional women artists over the centuries.”

Image of Antoine Cecile Hortense Haudebourt-Lescot, The Capture of Thionville, 1837

Antoine Cecile Hortense Haudebourt-Lescot, The Capture of Thionville, 1837; Oil on canvas, 34 ¼ x 46 in.; Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon; Image: Franck Raux; Courtesy of Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY

NMWA members are invited to a special Member Preview Day, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2012, featuring:

  • A noon lecture by New School Professor Laura Auricchio: “Royalists to Revolutionaries: Women Artists in the French Revolution”
  • Staff-led gallery tours throughout the day
  • An opportunity to see NMWA’s artist-in-residence and womenswear designer Celia Reyer begin work on the Brunswick traveling coat, inspired by and created through historically accurate production processes, that will bring to life the fashions in the portraiture on view.

For information about the day, or about becoming a NMWA member, visit or call toll-free 866-875-4627.

The 135-page, fully-illustrated exhibition catalogue has been published by Scala Publishers, with essays by Pomeroy and other noted scholars in the field. (To purchase the catalogue, call the Museum Shop toll-free at 877-226-5294. $45/Member $40.50; Item #3500.)


Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections has been organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., with logistical support from sVo Art, Versailles.

The exhibition is made possible by the Annenberg Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation, Hermès, Teresa L. and Joe R. Long, and Jacqueline Badger Mars, with additional funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, an Anonymous Donor, the Robert Lehman Foundation, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Further support is provided by Air France and Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square.

Check out NMWA’s Summer Magazine for Interviews, Artwork, and Exhibition Information!

NMWA’s summer issue of Women in the Arts, free to members and NMWA visitors, is a great resource for information about the museum, recent events, and current exhibitions. On the cover, Jaune Quick-to-see-Smith’s Modern Times (1993) is currently on view in Pressing Ideas: Fifty Years of Women’s Lithographs from Tamarind (on view through October 2). Quick-to-see-Smith is one of the many significant women artists who have gone to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to learn the medium of lithography from the Tamarind Institute’s master printers.

Pressing Ideas also includes lithographs—reflecting a huge variety of genres and styles—from Kiki Smith, Dorothy Dehner, Margo Humphrey, Fay Ku, Polly Apfelbaum, and Diane Reyna. The Tamarind Institute has revived lithography as a medium; it was founded by the recently deceased artist June Wayne, whose “Dorothy Series,” 1975–79, was featured at NMWA in 2010. This exhibition showcases more than 70 of most impressive, creative lithographs created at the institute over the past five decades.

Image of the Guerrilla Girls, Horror on the National Mall!, 2007

Guerrilla Girls, Horror on the National Mall!, 2007; (c) Guerrilla Girls

Also featured in the summer issue, the current Guerrilla Girls exhibition, The Guerrilla Girls Talk Back (on view through October 2) was organized from two portfolios of posters, postcards, newsletters, stickers, and other objects that were donated to the museum by Steven Scott. Kathryn A. Wat, NMWA’s curator of modern and contemporary art, says that this dynamic presentation of the anonymous artist-activists’ work “illustrates the Girls’s mission to ‘make trouble’ in order to promote social change.” As Wat describes, the Girls have provoked substantive changes within the art world, but they are determined to continue shedding light on bias and discrimination: “Wielding facts, fake fur, and a ferocious commitment to exposing injustice, they fight on to promote inclusiveness in our global community.”

Susan Swartz: Seasons of the Soul at NMWA

Susan Swartz: Seasons of the Soul at NMWA

NMWA’s third special exhibition, Susan Swartz: Seasons of the Soul (on view through October 2), is highlighted through an interview: Raphael Fitzgerald, curator of exhibitions, queries Susan Swartz about her artwork, her career, and the personal stories that motivated her to feel so passionately about environmental activism. As Swartz says, “If I can make people pause and see what is real during this busy age when we all hurry through our lives, if I could make people see the unsentimental beauty of nature for one moment, then I will have met my goal. Nature is what sustains us. We seem to have forgotten this truth.”

Gail Levin, author of Lee Krasner: A Biography, discusses the book at NMWA

Gail Levin, author of Lee Krasner: A Biography, discusses the book at NMWA

In another interview in this season’s Women in the Arts, Chief Curator Jordana Pomeroy speaks with Gail Levin, the author of the first full-length biography of Lee Krasner. Levin, who visited NMWA in the spring to discuss her book, describes, “I met Krasner when I was a 22-year-old graduate student in art history, and, as our relationship developed, had the chance not only to interview her about Jackson Pollock and herself, but also to ask her questions that a young woman might ask a mentor. I asked Krasner a lot of personal questions and she discussed some things with me that she rarely talked about with anyone else.”

For the full text of these illuminating articles, as well as information about education events at the museum, shop merchandise, and upcoming exhibitions, pick up a copy of Women in the Arts by visiting NMWA or becoming a member today!

—Elizabeth Lynch is the editor at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Not a DC resident (but want to support NMWA)?

Did you know that 75% of the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ members resides outside of the DC metro area? Our members commonly cite our mission to bring recognition to the achievements of women artists as their main reason for supporting the Museum. And let’s face it – our membership benefits certainly sweeten the deal. All of our membership levels $100 and above include the North American Reciprocal Membership Program (NARM)   which translates to access to over 500 museums throughout the country, Bermuda, Canada, El Salvador, and Mexico for members. The North American Reciprocal Membership Program also extends discounts like those offered to NMWA members on purchases made on the premises in the gift shop as well as on concert and lecture tickets of the participating museums!

And just to whet your artistic appetite, here is a sampling of exhibitions at participating NARM museums:


The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art in Evanston, IL
I Myself Have Seen It: Photography and Kiki Smith through August 14, 2011

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, NC
Niki de Saint Phalle: Creation of a New Mythology through October 3, 2011

Bennington Museum in Bennington, VT
Grandma Moses and the “Primitive” Tradition through October 31, 2011

Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, ME
Louise Nevelson through December 31, 2011

To learn more about Kiki Smith, “Grandma” Anna Mary Robertson Moses,  Louise Nevelson, and Niki de Saint Phalle (whose playful sculptures are currently featured in NMWA’s New York Avenue Sculpture Project) visit the Clara Database.

The Nasher Museum of Art in Durham, NC
The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure The Signs of Power, 1973-1990 opens September 15, 2011

Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, WA
Carolee Schneemann: Within and Beyond the Premises opens September 24, 2011

The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC
Breaking Down Barriers: 300 Years of Women in Art opens October 28, 2011

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, NM
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith: Landscapes Of An American Modernist opens January 27, 2012

To learn more about Carolee Schneemann and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith visit the Clara Database.

Don’t see your state listed?  Visit the North American Reciprocal Museums for a full list of participating museums!

Presentation of a current NMWA membership card validated with a North American Reciprocal Seal entitles you to admission to participating museums. Discounts are valid only for goods and tickets purchased on premise.  For more information please visit the North American Reciprocal Museums  site or contact NMWA Member Services by phone at 866-875-4627 or by email at

Report from Member Services: A Successful and Fun Member Day for New Exhibitions!

Last Thursday at NMWA, we held Member Day for three just-opened exhibitions, Pressing Ideas: Fifty Years of Women’s Lithographs from Tamarind, The Guerrilla Girls Talk Back, and Susan Swartz: Seasons of the Soul.

Image of Dorothy Dehner, Lunar Series #4, 1970

Dorothy Dehner, Lunar Series #4, 1970; Lithograph, 19 1/2 x 24 in.; University of New Mexico Art Museum; Image Courtesy of the University of Iowa Museum of Art

As we do for every new exhibition, we invited our members (who may each bring a guest) to come enjoy the new shows and take advantage of special tours led by the staff. For this Member Day, we were very lucky in having a special guest, Marjorie Devon, the director of the Tamarind Institute, who came to speak about Tamarind, the art of lithography, and the works in the exhibition. Ms. Devon has worked at the Tamarind Institute, which is located inAlbuquerque, for almost 40 years, and she has been the institute’s director for 22. Her lecture focused on the interesting and time-intensive technique of lithography and the collaboration of artists with master printers. She told firsthand, often funny stories about the artists and their visits to Tamarind. (Devon has recorded some of these stories for NMWA’s guide-by-cell audio program. These audio files are accessible at the museum; a selection will also be posted here on the Broad Strokes blog throughout the exhibition. Please feel free to listen to Devon’s introduction and her thoughts on Polly Apfelbaum, accessible in previous blog posts.)  Describing the show and lecture, one member commented, “The opportunity to hear the description of the lithography process made the tour extra-special!” Another member raved that the Tamarind show was “Superb!”

Jordana Pomeroy, NMWA's chief curator, leads a tour on Member Day

Jordana Pomeroy, NMWA’s chief curator, leads a tour on Member Day

NMWA staff members also led tours of the Guerrilla Girls and Susan Swartz exhibitions. The Girls fascinated our members with their “up-in-your-face” approach to critiquing the contemporary art world. The Susan Swartz show focused on the artist’s connection with nature and her concerns about environmental issues, which are so significant today. Each show brought a different flavor to the day, and members enjoyed all three.

By the end of Member Day, which ran 10 a.m.–3 p.m., 107 visitors had joined us for coffee and refreshments in the museum’s Great Hall as well as the interesting and thought-provoking tours and exhibitions. Thank you to everyone who attended Member Day, and we hope to see you at the next one!

—Carolyn Higgins is the member services intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Networking, Socializing, Mentoring: NMWA’s Young Professionals Forum Connects Women

NMWA’s Young Professionals Forum (YPF) was founded five years ago by a handful of prominent women professionals who hoped to bring together, mentor, and provide leadership for young female professionals from the DC metro area. Under the guidance of Co-chairs Meredith Harman and Jesse Sterchi, the YPF has flourished, creating exciting opportunities for networking, socializing, and cultural enrichment while supporting the museum’s mission of bringing attention to women in all areas of the arts.

Meredith Harman shares the group’s origins, “We started this group to foster a working relationship between the multiple generations of working women in D.C. NMWA was the perfect fit–bringing a group of young female professionals to a place where they could connect to and be inspired by the work of great women artists seemed natural.” Jessie Sterchi elaborates on the YPF’s goals: “The group brings together young female professionals looking to network and learn from mentors, regardless of their involvement in the arts. However, in doing so, it creates a forum for cultural enrichment though behind the scenes gallery tours, exclusive invitations to exhibition openings, and access to a number of female role models specific to the art world.”

Co-chairs Meredith Harman and Jessie Sterchi with YPF members and friends at the Eye Wonder exhibition reception in February.

Throughout the year, the Forum hosts a number of social and educational events for its members. Our first YPF event of 2011 was the opening reception of NMWA’s current exhibition, Eye Wonder: Photography from the Bank of America Collection. YPF members and friends were invited to preview Bank of America’s renowned collection of international art featuring historical and contemporary women photographers.

Tara Luizzi–styling D.C. one closet at a time

The most unique aspect of the YPF is the mentor series, which connects successful businesswomen with young professionals in all stages of their careers hoping to gain valuable advice or learn more about an area in which they are passionate. Harman explains, “Our Mentor Series have been pivotal in connecting younger professional women in D.C. with more experienced professional women, so that we might learn from their career paths and get advice from them as we continue on our own path.”

On Tuesday, March 23, Tara Luizzi, owner of the Personal Wardrobe Consulting and Styling Service tara styles dc , will host our first Mentor Series event of the year at J.Crew in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC (3222 M Street, NW). Tara will not only share how she created her company tara styles dc, but also provide her fashion expertise on how to wear the current trends for spring. Tara has more than fifteen years of experience in the fashion industry working for top boutiques, including Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Boston, and Relish in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

If you live in the DC metro area, and would like more information about YPF membership or events, please email

Art, Food, and More Art: Director’s Circle Visits NYC

NMWA’s Director’s Circle membership level offers the opportunity to travel with the museum’s director, Susan Sterling, on unique trips that highlight the work of women artists. Past destinations include Napa Valley, Spain, and Miami. The Director’s Circle just returned from a three-day trip to New York City (March 2-4) that focused on contemporary art, and it was my pleasure to travel with them.


Our group spent two afternoons at the renowned Armory Show staged on New York’s Piers 92 & 94. An annual international art fair, the Armory Show highlights important art from the early twentieth century to today. This year’s fair featured nearly 300 booths presented by galleries from Berlin to Zurich. We loved seeing works by artists whose careers we have been following—such as Julie Blackmon, Berlinde de Bruyckere, E.V. Day, Susan Hiller, Lori Nix, and Yayoi Kusama—as well as artists who were new to us, especially painter Kyung Jeon and Isabelle Fein, whose mesmerizing drawings filled the entire booth presented by Frankfurt’s Galerie Parisa Kind.

We spent a morning popping into galleries in the Chelsea district and were knocked out by exhibitions showcasing art by Tara Donovan and Hope Gangloff. At Cheim & Read, where we saw breathtaking large-scale paintings by Pat Steir (whose work is in NMWA’s collection), we were granted access to a private area of the gallery that featured remarkable pieces by Louise Bourgeois and Joan Mitchell.

Ursula von Rydingsvard: Sculpture 1991-2009 is on view at the Sculpture Center through March 28

During an “away day” in Queens and Brooklyn, we attended a private breakfast reception at the Sculpture Center, where we viewed a retrospective of sculptures by Ursula von Rydingsvard (also part of NMWA’s collection). Our tour of this exhibition was led by Rydingsvard herself, and afterwards she chatted with the NMWA group and signed everyone’s exhibition catalogues. Yes, we felt like groupies—it’s always exciting and enlightening to meet artists in person.

Also in Queens, we were delighted to have MoMA PS1 Curator Christopher Lew lead us on a tour of films and photographs by emerging artist Laurel Nakadate. At the Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art Curator Catherine Morris shared with us an exquisite exhibition of photographs and a video by Lorna Simpson.

Lorna Simpson, 1957–2009 Interiors (detail), 2009, on view at the Brooklyn Museum through August 21

In addition to focusing on visual art, Director’s Circle trips delve into the culinary arts. We enjoyed dinner in the Four Seasons Restaurant’s Pool Room (site of the recent wedding of reality TV star Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy—although I seemed to be the only one in the group who knew about this).

We also were privileged to dine in the home of Patty Findlay and her husband, art dealer Peter Findlay. Mr. Findlay’s family has been in the art business for nearly 150 years, and he offered fascinating insight into the behind-the-scenes workings of the art world. The Findlays arranged to have chef Elise Kanda prepare a delicious three-course meal for our group. We also savored cheeses made by women cheesemakers that had been selected by Rebecca Hoffman. (Hoffman works with Mr. Findlay and has a great blog all about cheese:

Director’s Circle members with Curator Kathryn Wat and Director Susan Fisher Sterling

Aside from the important business of learning more about women artists, Director’s Circle trips are about having fun. In addition to great food, we also shared many laughs. On our first day at the Armory Show, we discovered that a tiny 6 x 6-inch painting by a mid-century American master had a price tag deep into the six figures. Most of us were dumbstruck by this news, but one member of the group declared, “That’s absurd!” and got all of us giggling.

Kathryn A. Wat is curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

To learn more about the Director’s Circle, contact the Development Office at 202-266-2805.

Hot off the Press: Winter/Spring 2011 Women in the Arts Magazine

The Winter/Spring 2011 Women in the Arts magazines are here. Stop by the museum to pick up a copy and peruse our spring exhibitions!

Cover Story:

*Eye Wonder: Photographs from the Bank of America Collection: Eye Wonder presents more than one hundred photographs made between 1865 and today that demonstrate how women photographers have long embraced the subjectivity—even the quirkiness—of the camera’s eye. By Kathryn A. Wat


*Extraordinary Women: Celebrating Art History: The first annual Feminist Art History Conference at American University honored the legacies of art historians Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard. By Virginia Treanor

*The Art of Travel: Picturesque View of Europe by Richenda Cunningham: Cunningham exemplified the diligence of a woman who pursued her passion and enjoyed success as an artist in nineteenth-century England. By Raphael Fitzgerald

*P(art)ners: Gifts from the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection: The Podestas—speakers at the inaugural TEDWomen conference—have worked together to build a renowned collection of contemporary art, which has a focus on art by women. By Kathryn A. Wat


*Arts News: Elizabeth Turk and Susan Philipsz win big; Sylvia Sleigh and Dr. Margaret Burroughs remembered; A Musick-al tribute in Arkansas

*Culture Watch: Julie Carr, Stacy Schiff, and Jean-Dominique Rey’s new books reviewed

*Dedicated Donor: Carol and Climis Lascaris: Our endowment co-chairs talk about how supporting NMWA supports the community.

*On View: Kiki Smith, Mary Magdalene: Smith renders a sublime and invigorated rendition of a primitive woman.

Subscribe to Women in the Arts magazine by joining NMWA today! All membership levels receive unlimited free admission to the museum, a subscription to Women in the Arts, discounts in the Museum Shop and Mezzanine Cafe, and invitiations to special Member events. Call 866-875-4627, email, or visit for more information!