Tourist AttractionTravel

National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA)

Explore the only museum in the world dedicated to women in Washington, DC.

National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) has reopened with new safety standards. Visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase timed tickets in advance. Face masks and social distancing are essential, and frequent hand-washing is necessary. 

The National Museum of Women in the Arts  in DC’s Downtown neighbohood was founded in 1981 and opened in 1987. 

NMWA is the only major museum on the planet that solely dedicates to celebrating the diverse achievements of women artists. The museum’s collection includes more than 4,500 works from over 1,000 artists, dating from the 16th century to the present.

What’s inside the National Museum of Women in the Arts?

The powerful contributions that women have made to the art world can be surveyed inside NMWA. The collection spans hundreds of years, encompassing numerous eras and seminal artists. NMWA has organized collections by theme, letting visitors observe certain modes of art have been with each other across centuries.

Your journey will feature still-life paintings from the 1600s and cutting-edge photography from the 2000s. You’ll observe the stunning detail of a portrait by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, intimacy of a print made by MaryCassatt. The abstract beauty of a sculpture by Judy Chicago and Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky, with the social, cultural and political revolutions that women forged to make their voices heard serving as vital context throughout.


Recent highlights include They Call Me Redbone but I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake by Amy Sherald, the artist responsible for the new Michelle Obama portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, whose distinct style is evident in both pieces. There’s SonyaClark’s transcendent AfroAbe II, a five-dollar bill featuring the 16th president outfitted with the hairstyle found in the title. Locals will love view of RainyNight, Downtown by Georgia Mills Jessup, an interpretation of DC street with gorgeous contrasts, shapes.

Of course, NMWA frequently offers exciting exhibits that hone in on a particular artist/theme, including its Women to Watch series. Visit the museum’s website to see what’s currently on display and what’s upcoming.

To see what’s going on during your visit, check  events calendar plus you can experience programs, exhibitions online through NMWAathome. One recurring event to keep in mind: Free Community Day, which occurs on first,third Sundays of each month through November. It allows free admission to the museum all day with a timed ticket.

Although the museum’s Mezzanine Café is currently close, you can still visit NMWA’s awesome gift shop, which offers books, accessories, home goods and more, to bring some of the museum home with you.

The museum is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Hours from Monday – Saturday are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., while Sunday’s hours are 12-5 p.m. Patrons under the age of 18 enter for free. Admission for adults is $10, while visitors ages 65 and over and students pay $8.


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