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  • Writer's pictureDani Sauter

Socially Distant DC: The National Museum of Women in the Arts

Recently I have been CRAVING museums. After months of a more relaxed, at-home way of life, I was itching to be surrounded by beautiful paintings and see works of known and unknown artists to escape the day-to-day routine I've found myself in.

The majority of the Smithsonian Museums are still closed in DC, but recently a handful of privately held museums re-opened such as The National Museum of Women in the Arts and The Phillips Collection. When I saw the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) was reopening, I got tickets for the opening weekend which felt like a necessary thing to do, especially given its Women's History Month. I have visited the museum before, but its been about 2 years since my last visit.

NMWA is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. It was founded in 1981 by Wilhelmina Cole Holladay and Wallace F. Holladay and has served its mission of "bringing recognition to the achievements of women artists of all periods and nationalities by exhibiting, preserving, acquiring, and researching art by women and by teaching the public about their accomplishments." (Source, NMWA).

The museum is beautiful- known for its iconic chandeliers that is the source for many past events in DC. The building was formerly a Masonic Temple and features stunning interior architecture. The mix of such a beautiful building serving as the backdrop for all of the striking works of art is a complete marriage of allure and wonder.

What stood out to me most on this visit was the Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend exhibit that is open through May 31, 2021. Clark is an artist based in Washington DC and her exhibit explores race, visibility, and history through textiles and mixed-media artwork. The exhibit was powerful and impactful, and one that I recommend all need to see and respect.

In total, the visit took about 2.5/3 to fully explore. The museum is 4 floors featuring over 5,000 pieces of art by over 1,000 women artists dating from the 16th century to now. Social distancing is enforced and masks are required at all times and I felt completely safe on the visit. There were certain rooms that were limited to a capacity, but the lines moved fast.

Tickets for NMWA are $10 and can be booked in advance here. If there's one thing you do in DC this spring, it should be a visit to NMWA.


Blonde in the District


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