The National Museum of Women in the Arts


Located in an historic building two blocks from the White House, in the heart of Washington, D.C., the National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to recognizing the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts and educating the public about their accomplishments.

As a private not-for profit organization, NMWA seeks equity through excellence in the arts. The collection includes 4500 works from the 16th century to the present created by over 1000 women artists. Exhibitions feature works from museums and collections around the world, including projects such as An Imperial Collection : Women Artists from the State Hermitage Museum, Nordic Cool : Hot Women Designers, Berthe Morisot : An Impressionist and Her Circle, Italian Women Artists from Renaissance to Baroque, Mary Cassatt : Family and Friends, and The New York Avenue Sculpture Project : Niki de Saint Phalle.

Education is at the core of NMWA’s mission, with programs that benefit people of all ages, including the innovative Art Books and Creativity and Teachers Connect on-line initiatives as well as Women in the Arts magazine. NMWA’s Library and Research Center is the foremost repository of information on art by women and houses books, catalogues and more than 18,000 files on women artists from around the world available via the CLARA online database.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts has over 16,000 members in 50 states in the United States as well as in 22 countries. It has created a network of national and international committees, such as Les Amis du NMWA, which act as “ambassadors” for the museum and support its mission. Today there are 18 committees, of which 10 are in the US, and 8 outside of the US. For more information about the museum’s other committees, click here.

NMWA and France

French women artists occupy an important place in the permanent collection of the museum. Artists represented include Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Adélaïde Labille-Guillard, Marguerite Gérard, Rosa Bonheur, Suzanne Valadon, Camille Claudel... and our « Women to Watch » of 2013 and 2015, Laure Tixier and Françoise Pétrovitch . Mrs Holladay, the museum’s founder, was decorated with the Légion d’Honneur by the French government in recognition of her contribution to the cultural exchanges between France and the US.

The museum regularly organizes temporary exhibits with French artists, notably in 2012, with the exhibit crowning the museum’s 25th anniversary, Royalists to Romantics : Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles and Other French National Collections. This exhibit highlighted the remarkable accomplishments of 18th and 19th century French women artists during the period between 1750 and 1848.

Featuring over 75 paintings and sculptures, coming from collections of the Louvre, Versailles, Fontainebleau and other French museums, the exhibit offered the opportunity for the public to discover the works of over 30 French women artists exhibited together for the first time (artists such as Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Adélaide Labille-Guillard et Anne Vallayer-Coster) and to better understand their extraordinary contributions.

Other exhibits with French artists at NMWA

  • Niki de Saint Phalle, New York Avenue Sculpture Project, 2010
  • Pomp and Power : Antoinette Bouzonnet Stella’s “Entrance of the Emperor Sigismond into Mantua” 2010
  • Berthe Morisot : An Impressionist and Her Circle , 2005
  • Rosa Bonheur : Selected Works from American Collections, 1990
  • Sculptures by Camille Claudel 1864 – 1943, 1988
  • Royalists to Romantics : Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles and Other French National Collections, 2012

National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20005, U.S.A.
Téléphone : 202-783-5000

To visit the museum’s web site, click here.
To become a member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, click here.

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Mrs. Holladay receives the Légion d’Honneur ; © all rights reserved
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