Women in American society have contributed greatly to the quality of life in our country.  Whether it is in the arts, medicine, business or education, the contributions of women in the U.S. and abroad are widely felt. Several prominent museums and exhibits in the Washington, D.C. area pay homage to the importance of women in our communities. Take time out to investigate and celebrate the achievements of women by visiting one of the following museums.

Price:  Donation of $5.00 requested
Hours: Wed to Sun -Noon to 5 p.m., Mon to Tues -Closed

The Sewell-Belmont House & Museum explores the lives of women who have dedicated their lives to the advocacy of women’s rights. Being a presence on Capitol Hill for more than 200 years, the museum also serves as the headquarters for the National Women’s Party. Alice Paul was the force behind the party and one of the nation’s greatest advocates for women’s rights. The museum boast over 200 items in its collections.

(credit: nwhm.org)

National Women’s History Museum
205 S. Whiting St., Suite 254
Alexandria, VA  22304
(703) 461-1920

Founded in 1996 by Karen Stasser, the museum was founded to focus, highlight and showcase the role of women in society. After its completion, the museum will be the first on the National Mall designed by a woman. Notably, the distinguished actress and 2011 Kennedy Center Honoree Meryl Streep serves as spokeswoman for the museum. The administrative offices museum is located minutes outside of Washington, D.C. in Alexandria, VA. Until the building of the museum, several online exhibits can be accessed on the website.

Related: Best Campus Art Galleries In The Washington DC Area 

(credit: hillwoodmuseum.org)

Hillwood Museum, Estate and Gardens
4155 Linnean Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 686-5807

Prices: Suggested donation: $15 Adults, $12 Senior Citizens (65 and older) and $10 College students
Hours: Tues to Sat -10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Marjorie Merriweather Post founded the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens . It features some the nation’s most treasured art collections. Among the treasured items include Russian imperial, French decorative art and furnishings. The breathtaking estate is one of the most beautiful and scenic in the country.

Featured Exhibit: The Style that Ruled the Empires: Russia, Napoleon and 1812

Ellen Day Hale (1855 - 1940) June, ca. 1893 (credit: National Museum of Women in the Arts, D.C. Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay)

National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Ave., N.W .
Washington, DC  20005
(202) 783-5000

Price: Adults: $10, Visitors 65 and over $8, Students: $8 NMWA Members: Free
Hours: Mon to Sat -10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun -Noon to 5 p.m.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts celebrate the accomplishments of women in a variety of artistic disciplines. Sparked originally from the interests of founder Wihelmina Cole Holladay, the museum was incorporated in 1981 as a non-profit museum. Visitors can enjoy over 3,000 works in the permanent collections. In addition to artwork, patrons can enjoy a variety of education activities, concert events and culinary delights from the café.  Check out these ongoing events during the month of March.

Featured Exhibition:Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections

Related: Best Art Museums In Washington DC 

Patrick D. McCoy is a freelance writer in Washington, D. C. where he is active as a performing arts journalist, educator, church music director and radio show host. His work can be found here.