The Mission of NMWA

The National Museum of Women in the Arts brings 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.

To fulfill its mission, the museum cares for and displays a permanent collection, presents special exhibitions, conducts education programs, maintains a Library and Research Center, publishes a magazine and books on women artists and supports a network of state and international committees.

Visit www.nmwa.org

HISTORY of the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS

Founded in 1987, NMWA is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative contributions. The idea for the National Museum of Women in the Arts grew from a simple, obvious, but rarely asked question: Where are all the women artists?

NMWA’s founders, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay and Wallace F. Holladay, began collecting art in the 1960s, just as scholars and art historians were beginning to discuss he underrepresentation of women and various racial and ethnic groups in museum collections and major art exhibitions. Among the first to apply this revisionist approach to collecting, the Holladays committed themselves for over 20 years to assembling art by women. By 1980, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay began to devote her energies and resources to creating a museum that would showcase women artists, and the Holladay Collection became the core of the institution’s permanent collection.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts was incorporated in November 1981 as a private, non-profit museum. During its first five years, NMWA operated from temporary offices with docent-led tours of the collection at the Holladay residence. Special exhibitions also were presented. In 1983, the museum purchased a 78,810 square-foot Washington landmark near the White House, formerly a Masonic Temple, and refurbished it in accordance with the highest design, museum, and security standards. It won numerous architectural awards.

In the spring of 1987, NMWA opened the doors of its permanent location with the inaugural exhibition, American Women Artists, 1830-1930, a definitive survey curated by one of the country’s foremost feminist art historians, Dr. Eleanor Tufts. See more about the National Museum of Women in the Arts at: nmwa.org

Greater Kansas City Area Committee
of the National Museum of Women in the Arts
P.O. Box 22495 Kansas City, MO 64113

NMWA and NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS, FRIENDS OF NMWA are trademarks or registered trademarks of National Museum of Women in the Arts and are used under license.

© National Museum of Women in the Arts