From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this memoir-slash-art history, the founder of the National Museum of Women in the Arts recounts how her devotion to art collecting led her to champion female artists with their own home in Washington, D.C. Neglected by the art establishment throughout history, the work of women artists at the beginning of the 1980s continued to be marginalized; the idea for the NMWA came from Holladay's casual observation to a well-placed friend about how rare it was to find a museum with even one work by a female artist. Holladay's determination and perseverance paid off in the NMWA's 1987 opening, which received near-universal kudos (save a whopper of a negative review in Time magazine) and currently boasts one of the country's largest museum memberships. Aside from the story of her and the institution's life, Holladay considers hundreds of pieces in all mediums, from beloved painters Georgia O'Keeffe and Mary Cassatt to sculpture by Kathe Kollwitz to Mary Ann Crosewell's charming silver toy, "George III Child's Rattle." Holladay is generous with praise for the large circle of wealthy patrons who've been involved; notable appearances include Bunny Mellon ("a queen in Washington"), Madeline Albright and Sandra Day O'Connor. 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. 130 color and 40 b&w illus.
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About the Author
Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, the founder and Chair of the Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, was elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame and was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Legion of Honor from the French government. She lives with her husband, Wallace, in Washington, D.C.