A Museum of Their Own

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Release Date
Format Hardcover 240 pages 10 x 11 inches 170 illustrations, 130 in full color
ISBN-13 978-0-78921-003-6 SKU 1042347

An inspiring memoir relating how Wilhelmina Cole Holladay succeeded in founding and establishing the best-known museum devoted to women in the arts.

Over the centuries, until quite recently, the work of great women artists had been ignored, forgotten, or denied; they had been largely left out of museums and histories of art. Along came Wilhelmina Cole Holliday, who boldly decided it was time to rectify this oversight by founding a museum in 1987 in a landmark building near the White House. A critic for the Washington Post wrote, “Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, the museum’s founding president, has accomplished something radical. No player in the art scene here has a deeper understanding of power and money and of how our system works. Despite her white-glove graciousness, hard-working Billie Holladay is a warrior and a winner....”

This thrilling story of the birth and early years of the NMWA is a lively, anecdotal, behind-the-scenes, eyewitness glimpse of the efforts of dedicated individuals who shared Mrs. Holladay’s vision and, under her leadership, helped her expand the permanent collection, organize outstanding exhibitions, renovate the Museum, and fund a robust endowment. Moreover, NMWA now boasts a growing membership—among the top ten museums in the world—with active, vocal committees all across the nation and in many countries. Illustrating the text are 130 color pictures, which include works from the collection and from exhibitions, as well as 40 archival photographs of landmark events that led to the Museum’s impressive growth.


Museums acquire such gravitas, it seems as though theyve always been here, so its instructive to be reminded of how much vision and work is involved.... [The National Museum of Women in the Arts] changed the status of women artists and the life of its founder, who now tells the museums success story in an entertainingly anecdotal, inspiring, and beautifully illustrated memoir. -- Booklist

Aside from the story of her and the institution’s life, Holladay considers hundreds of pieces in all mediums... Readers will find this richly rewarding, whether they’re interested in the personal story of this National Medal of Arts winner or the fine art she’s collected. -- PublishersWeekly.com

A Museum of Their Own includes some gorgeous works from the museum’s collection, art by women you may have never heard of, but now have an opportunity to appreciate. -- BookPage

The lavish and plentiful illustrations ... reveal many carefully selected paintings, sculptures, prints, and pottery by women around the globe....The museum and this splendid book will serve as a focal point for rescuing the works and reputations of extraordinary women artists who otherwise might be obscured by time. -- Library Journal

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