After years of planning, a pandemic-induce closure, a brief reopening, and a $67.5 million renovation, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C., has officially reopen. The revamp museum introduces reconfigure galleries, event spaces, and a refresh exterior to visitors.
Debut of Ambitious Exhibition
To mark its reopening, NMWA presents “The Sky’s the Limit,” an ambitious exhibition featuring over 30 large-scale sculptures and immersive installations by 13 living artists. The show showcases works by artists like Rina Banerjee, Shinique Smith, and Ursula von Rydingsvard.
Rethinking Exhibition Spaces
The renovation, the first significant one since the museum’s opening in 1987, aim to enhance the exhibition spaces while maintaining the historic footprint. With the assistance of the Baltimore-base architecture firm Sandra Vicchio & Associates, the museum has expand and open up its galleries, increasing its space by 20%. The goal to create an environment that allows for a smoother flow and better connections between artworks.
Advocacy and Thematic Organization
A key element of NMWA’s mission is advocacy, and the reinstall permanent collection adheres to a thematic organization. Artworks are categorize by themes, ranging from landscapes to still lifes, fiber art, and sections highlighting specific colors. This approach helps to combat issues relate to chronology that often affect women artists and artists of color, who can be relegate to the end of exhibitions.
Showcasing New Acquisitions
NMWA’s permanent collection includes newly install works acquire during the museum’s closure, many of which are being displayed for the first time. The architects reinforced the museum’s walls to create a flexible exhibition space for future shows and accommodate large-scale sculptures.
Transformation of Upper Floors
The most striking transformation can be seen on the upper floors, now featuring new galleries, a performance hall, and a learning space. The museum has also improved accessibility, enhanced its digital resources, and revitalized its research library, which is now open to the public.
Focus on Artmaking Space
A new addition that excites Susan Fisher Sterling, NMWA’s director, is a studio space for community art classes. It’s the first time the museum has incorporated an artmaking space, providing a transparent connection between exhibitions, artmaking spaces, and education.
In conclusion, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., has reopened after extensive renovations, offering visitors a fresh experience with reconfigured galleries, an engaging exhibition, and improved facilities that support its mission to promote women artists and art education.