The National Museum of Women in the Arts
Do you have a daughter or granddaughter who is interested in art? This is a must-see museum that is sure to inspire her. Another gem in D.C.'s museum crown, the National Museum of Women in the Arts features more than 250 works by female artists housed in a restored Masonic temple.Collection Highlights
In this museum, you will find the work of two of the Peale sisters, who were as talented as their father and his brother (nineteenthcentury portrait painters James and Charles Peale) but whose work is virtually unknown. The permanent collection also features early Italian Renaissance and Flemish works by female artists, as well as seventeenth-century female silversmiths. Rosa Bonheur, considered the best painter of animals in the nineteenth century, had to dress as a man to paint in public.
Also on display are works by Elizabeth Lebrun, who was the court painter to Marie Antoinette and one of the few known female portrait painters of her time. Mary Cassatt's Japanese-inspired prints are all on view here, as are two Frida Kahlos, including her
The niece of one of the first successful artists in America, Sarah Miriam Peale is considered one of the first American women to have a successful career as an artist. Her uncle was Charles Wilson Peale, whose portraits of pals George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are famous. Her sister's work can also be found at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Other works on display include those by Georgia O'Keeffe, Lee Krasner, and Helen Frankenthaler, as well as Alice Neel's powerful
The museum's small but relaxing restaurant has a surprisingly good selection of soups, salads, gourmet sandwiches, a daily entrée, and desserts given clever names. The gift shop features a terrific collection of books and posters about female artists, as well as a creative jewelry display, a large children's selection, and sale items. It is open weekdays, 11:30
The National Museum of Women in the Arts is located on New York Avenue and is accessible from Metro Center (Red, Orange, or Blue Line). Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10