Winter Programs at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

By Editorial Team on December 3, 2018
Photo by Emily Haight, NMWA, Creative by Tronvig Group.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is pleased to present a wide range of exhibitions and programs, including gallery talks related to the exhibition Rodarte and monthly installments of the much raved about and in demand “Fierce Women” tour.

The first Sunday of every month is a Community Day with free admission to the public. The information below is current as of Nov. 2018. To find out more, visit the museum’s online calendar.

Film: Black Swan
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, 2:15–4:15 p.m.
Black Swan (2010, 110 minutes), an American psychological thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder, features costumes designed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy of fashion house Rodarte. The film tells the story of a committed dancer who wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity. Black Swan premiered as the opening film for the 67th Venice International Film Festival and earned Natalie Portman an Academy Award for Best Actress. Costumes from Black Swan are on view in the special exhibition Rodarte. This film is rated R. Free. No reservations required. First come, first served seating.

Film: Woodshock
Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, 2:15–3:55 p.m.
Woodshock (2017, 100 minutes) is the feature film debut of visionary fashion designers and founders of Rodarte, Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Woodshock is a hypnotic exploration of isolation, paranoia and grief that exists in a dream-world all its own. Kirsten Dunst stars as Theresa, a haunted young woman spiraling in the wake of profound loss, torn between her fractured emotional state and the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug. Immersive, spellbinding and sublime, Woodshock transcends genre to become a singularly thrilling cinematic experience that marks the arrival of the Mulleavy siblings as a major new voice in film. Rodarte’s costumes for Woodshock are on view in the special exhibition Rodarte. This film is rated R. Free. No reservations required. First come, first served seating.

NMWA Nights: Fashion Forward
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, 6–8:30 p.m.
Tap into your fashionable side during this crafty happy hour event. Try your hand at crafts inspired by the materials and textures in the special exhibition Rodarte, enjoy delicious drinks and snacks, and explore the museum’s galleries. $25 general; $15 members, seniors, students; or, at the door, donate a pre-loaded Metro SmarTrip card ($20 value or more per person). Those donating SmarTrip cards will be asked to provide receipts. All proceeds benefit Dress for Success, Washington, D.C., a nationwide non-profit that empowers women through access to professional clothing and career training. Reservations required. Register online. Admission fee or donation includes two drink coupons and all craft materials. This event is 21+. IDs will be checked at the door.

Free Community Days
Sundays, Dec. 2, 2018, and Jan. 6 and Feb. 3, 2019, 12–5 p.m.
The first Sunday of every month is a Community Day at NMWA, with free admission to the public. Take this opportunity to explore current exhibitions as well as the museum’s collection. Free. No reservations required.

Drop-In Tour: Fierce Women
Sundays Dec. 2, 2018, and Jan. 6 and Feb. 3, 2019, 1–2 p.m.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts is brimming with artwork by and about women who thrived as professionals and influencers despite social norms that denounced such public, “unfeminine” behavior. Discover a diverse cast of “fierce women” who refused to let men define their place; thumbed their noses at the limited roles society accorded them; and blazed trails as artists, activists, and innovators. From the 16th-century painter who was the family breadwinner to the contemporary photographer shaping new dialogues about gender roles, the women you encounter prove that fierce gets the job done. This unconventional, edgy, and fast-paced tour is fun, fearless, and free. Free. No reservations required, but space is limited. First come, first served—sign up at the Information Desk upon arrival. Tour departs from the Great Hall.

Lunchtime Gallery Talks
Most Wednesdays, Dec. 5 through Feb. 27, 12–12:30 p.m.
Express lunchtime talks—30 minutes or fewer—are offered most Wednesdays. Facilitated by museum staff members, these conversation-driven thematic talks highlight three to six works on view. Free. No reservations required.
12/5: Rodarte
12/12: Rodarte
12/19: Ambreen Butt
1/2: Rodarte
1/9: Rodarte
1/16: Rodarte
1/23: Ambreen Butt
1/30: Rodarte
2/6: Rodarte
2/13: Collection Sampler
2/20: Collection Sampler
2/27: Ambreen Butt

Education programming is made possible by Mrs. Marjorie Rachlin, the Leo Rosner Foundation, SunTrust, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Wells Fargo, the Harriet E. McNamee Youth Education Fund, William and Christine Leahy, and the Junior League of Washington.

The Women, Arts, and Social Change public programs initiative is made possible through leadership gifts from Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Dauray/Davis Family Fund, and the Susan and Jim Swartz Public Programs Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Bernstein Family Foundation, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Full Bleed: A Decade of Photobooks and Photo Zines by Women
July 30, 2018–March 29, 2019, in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center
Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.
Although digital images dominate visual culture today, the photobook remains a meaningful and thriving form. A deliberate, ordered and sometimes narrative arrangement of photographic images bound in a book with little or no text, the photobook is an intimate presentation from photographer to viewer, one on one. This selection of photobooks and photo zines, created by an international group of women artists in the last ten years, embodies essential truths told through eclectic visual vocabularies. The images encompass coldly objective photographs of American locations of mythic importance, digital photos snapped through a car window and prints resulting from experiments with expired photo paper.

New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Betsabeé Romero
September 28, 2018–September 20, 2020
The dynamic works of Mexico City-based Betsabeé Romero (b. 1963) form the next chapter in NMWA’s public art program, the New York Avenue Sculpture Project, established in 2010. Signals of a Long Road Together comprises four sculptures developed expressly for this installation. Using a process similar to tattooing, Romero carves figures and intricate patterns into the sidewalls and treads of tires, and then fills in the motifs with gleaming metallic paint. She will assemble her carved and painted tires into totemic structures that speak to themes of human migration and the natural environment. Romero’s sculptures are the first in the New York Avenue Sculpture Project to incorporate interior lighting, which gives each piece an otherworldly glow.

November 10, 2018–February 10, 2019
Sisters Kate Mulleavy and Laura Mulleavy, founders of the innovative American luxury label Rodarte, established in 2005, are the first designers to be recognized with a solo exhibition organized by NMWA. Rodarte is known for its conceptual blend of high couture, modern femininity and meticulous craftsmanship. The Mulleavys draw inspiration from art, film and the natural landscape. Since its inception, Rodarte has drawn critical acclaim from the art and fashion worlds. Through a refined selection of looks from pivotal collections, as well as accessories and video shorts, this exhibition offers an overview of the first 13 years of the Mulleavys’ work through the lens of contemporary art and fashion.

Ambreen Butt —Mark My Words
December 7, 2018–April 14, 2019
Pakistani-American artist Ambreen Butt (b. 1969, Lahore, Pakistan) combines her training in traditional, labor-intensive Persian miniature painting with contemporary political subject matter. This focus exhibition of works on paper explores her exceptional range of mark-making techniques, including drawing, stitching, staining, etching and gluing. Butt’s imagery—both figurative and semi-abstract—evokes organic and free-flowing movement, while her subject matter grapples with persistent tensions: between religious ideologies and political oppression, beauty and violence, and past and present. The artist’s embrace of varied mark-making processes enriches her work and speaks to broader ideas of women making their marks on society.

National Museum of Women in the Arts is located at 1250 New York Ave. NW.