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National Museum of Women in the Arts announces $66m renovation

The National Museum of Women in Arts (NMWA) is closing to the public for two years in order to renovate and expand its building in Washington, D.C.

national museum of women in the arts washington dc

NMWA’s $66 million plans involve renovating the historic building, with state-of-the-art upgrades expanding the exhibition space and enhancing the museum‘s programming.

The National Museum of Women in Arts will close to the public on August 9, 2021 and building work will start on September 1, 2021. Construction will take around two years.

The project, which is NMWA’s first full renovation since 1987, will improve interior spaces and enhance amenities and accessibility for visitors.

“This renovation will ensure that the museum continues to promote the contributions of women artists in ways that engage audiences and advocates of tomorrow,” said NMWA director Susan Fisher Sterling.

NMWA upgrading historic building

national museum of women in the arts washington dc

“From its home in the nation’s capital, NMWA has given deserved prominence to groundbreaking women artists of the past and present for nearly 35 years, but the goal of equity for women through excellence in the arts has yet to be achieved.”

Architectural firm Sandra Vicchio & Associates is leading the project, with Vicchio describing the museum as “a majestic structure – timeless and beautiful”.

“To protect the collection and enable NMWA to educate and engage the world more effectively, we must upgrade the building’s envelope, improve the performance of its systems and make better use of its interior space,” she said.

In addition, the renovation project includes a new orientation gallery to welcome visitors, as well as a learning space with an exhibition gallery, library and research centre, reading room and education studio.

Improved visitor experience in D.C.

national museum of women in the arts washington dc

NMWA will also install new lighting, climate control and security technology to protect the art, improve signage throughout the museum and restore the building exterior.

During the closure, NMWA will continue to offer online programmes, events, virtual exhibitions and digital content. The institution is also planning off-site exhibitions and special events.

Meanwhile, TikTok launched its inaugural live museum marathon on May 18, with #MuseumMoment taking users on a virtual tour of 23 museums across 12 countries.

Images: NMWA

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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