About the National Museum
Founded in 1987, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), located in Washington DC, is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative contributions.

By bringing to light remarkable women artists of the past while also promoting the best women artists working today, the Museum directly addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art in the U.S. and abroad, thus assuring great women artists a place of honor now and into the future.
  • Preserves and displays a collection of 4,500 objects
  • Presents 10 world-class exhibitions of women artists each year
  • Maintains an 18,500-volume library and research center
  • Publishes art history books and a triannual magazine
  • Programs top quality concerts, films, staged readings and other performing arts events
  • Offers education curricula and programs for learners of all ages
  • Sponsors a network of over 20 national and international committees, engaging museum members who advocate for women artists at the local, regional, and international levels
New Mexico women artists in the Museum’s collection include: Corn Blue, Judy Chicago, Marie Zieu Chino, Helen Cordero, Grace Medicine Flower, Dolores Lewis Garcia, Agnes Martin, Santana Royal Martinez, Maria Martinez, Emma Lewis Mitchell, Georgia O'Keeffe, Cathy Raymond, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Lu Ann Tafoya, Margaret Tafoya, and Nancy Youngblood.

The idea for the National Museum of Women in the Arts grew from a 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 the 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 Holladay’s 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. 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.
Learn more about the Museum.