The National Museum of Women in Arts in Washington, D.C., will close on August 9 ahead of a major restoration effort on its historic building at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, a few blocks east of the White House. Construction is set to begin on September 1 and is expected to last two years. During its closure, the museum will present virtual programs, events, and exhibitions.
The $66 million project, which is being overseen by the Baltimore-based architectural firm Sandra Vicchio & Associates and marks first major renovation for the building since 1987, will yield larger gallery spaces, a new space for educational and research programs, improved infrastructure and storage facilities, and more. The effort is the result of a 2015 assessment of the museum’s building, which dates to 1908.
Because the building is a Classical Revival structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places, upkeep for the museum’s roof, cornice, and other exterior features will be undertaken in accordance with the D.C. Historic Preservation Office. Other priorities for the restoration include improving ADA accessibility for visitors, creating an orientation gallery for the museum’s Great Hall, and upgrading wireless and touchscreen technologies in galleries.
In a statement, NMWA director Susan Fisher Sterling said, “This renovation will ensure that the museum continues to promote the contributions of women artists in ways that engage audiences and advocates of tomorrow.”
Architect Sandra Vicchio added in a release, “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. Revitalizing the building is all about positioning the museum for a triumphant future.”