National Museum of Women in the Arts Announces Sculpture Project


WASHINGTON, DC, 24 FEBRUARY 2010 / PRNewswire-USNewswire — National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents the New York Avenue Sculpture Project, a dynamic new space that will enhance D.C.’s public art profile by featuring changing installations of contemporary works by women. The project is organized by NMWA in collaboration with the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District, the D.C. Office of Planning and other agencies.

“Bringing NMWA out into the street has been a dream of the museum. We are grateful to our partners who share our excitement. This project will beautify our city and serve as the first and only major sculpture boulevard in the nation’s capital,'” says NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling.

The New York Avenue Sculpture Project will improve the downtown visual environment following a tradition begun by city planner Pierre L’Enfant in 1791. ”The New York Avenue culture gateway supports major local planning and revitalization initiatives and will be a delightful new destination for D.C.’s 25 million annual visitors.

“This is an exciting new venture for the District and a wonderful testament to the contribution of women in the arts,” says Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Joined by partners, supporters, officials and neighbors, NMWA will dedicate the first phase of the sculpture project — the refurbishment of the 1200 block in front of the museum — on April 28, 2010. The celebration, chaired by Board Members Marcia Carlucci and Marlene Malek, will include community events. The removal of old plant materials, construction of sculpture pads, lighting and landscaping has begun. When all four phases are completed around 2015, four major medians along New York Avenue will be transformed into lively sculpture islands.

The inaugural artist for the New York Avenue Sculpture Project is Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002), a self-taught French sculptor drawn to public art. Her vibrant works celebrate women, children, heroes, diversity and love. Selected with the Niki Charitable Art Foundation and federal and local agencies, the four whimsical sculptures to be installed are part of Saint Phalle’s series of Nanas, Black Heroes, Animals and Totems.

The project is supported by Medda Gudelsky, the Downtown D.C. BID, the Philip L. Graham Fund, the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, NMWA members, the District Department of Transportation and others. NMWA is the only museum dedicated to recognizing the achievements of women artists of all periods and nationalities. Visit for more information.

Michelle Cragle
National Museum of Women in the Arts

An artist’s rendering of the New York Avenue Sculpture Project, organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. (PRNewsFoto / National Museum of Women in the Arts)