Archive for the ‘Building the Museum News’ Category

Sign the petition to give NWHM a home!

February 28th, 2013

The museums that line the National Mall in Washington, DC symbolize what our nation honors. While art, science, and culture are well represented, half our history is missing – women’s history.

Did you know that only one in ten figures in today’s history textbooks is a woman; less than eight percent of the statues in our national parks are of women and in our Nation’s Capitol Building, only thirteen out of the 217 statues are of women leaders? The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) will educate and inspire by building a museum in Washington, DC, a city whose attractions symbolize what our nation honors. It will also provide for traveling exhibits.

For the last nine years NWHM has petitioned Congress for a permanent home on or near the National Mall, offering to build the Museum with private monies – not at taxpayer’s expense – yet our efforts continue to be blocked. Congressional approval is needed to build a Museum in DC since it is Federal land.

This is what has occurred in Congress previously:
• Passing legislation twice in the U.S. Senate but not passing it in the House of Representatives
• In another session of Congress, passing legislation in the House but not in the Senate.
• Then last year Congress attached a pet-project amendment to our bill, which prevented our bill from passing.

New legislation was introduced on February 28, 2013 to create a Commission that would identify a permanent home for women’s history. We are excited about this form of legislation because this is how the last three Museums were built in DC.

Together, we can make it happen!

Sign the petition at and forward this to your network of friends – this is the year to make it happen.

Make your voice heard and let Congress know that you want women’s history on the National Mall!

Sen. Collins, Reps. Maloney & Norton introduce bipartisan bill (S.3567) creating Commission to establish a National Women’s History Museum

September 14th, 2012


For immediate release (9-14-12)

Sen. Collins, Reps. Maloney & Norton introduce bipartisan bill creating

Commission to establish a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, DC

- Commission would not use taxpayer funds-

WASHINGTON, DC –Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today introduced a bill to create a Federal commission to determine the feasibility of constructing a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C.   Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is introducing the companion bill in the Senate.

The other cosponsors of the bill in the Senate include the dean of the women senators Senator Barbara  Mikulski (D-MD), and Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Joe Lieberman (I/D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

We are thrilled to have this legislation introduced by such distinguished national leaders as Senator Collins, Representatives Maloney and Norton and ten prominent senators as co-sponsors”  said Joan Wages, President and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum.  “The establishment of a Commission would be a giant step forward to help obtain an all-important site for the National Women’s History Museum on or close to the National Mall – the place where our nation shows what it honors.”

Although Congress authorized various other museums such as the National Museum for African American History and Culture, the National Law Enforcement Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian, there is still no institution in the capital region dedicated to women’s role in our country’s history.

Over the years, both the Senate and House have passed different versions of a bill to create a National Women’s History Museum, but this is the first bill that would establish a commission.  Since the legislation prior to this time called for land or a building adjacent and not on the Mall, a Commission was not needed.  Wages said the NWHM Board and their advisers felt that this step was needed if they wanted to take the giant step forward to study a site on the Mall.

The National Museum for African American History and Culture, the Holocaust Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino each had commissions recommending their sites – and all but the Holocaust have been granted Mall sites. Unlike previous museum commissions, taxpayers will not fund this project.  The proposed legislation calls for the Commission to fund itself.

A museum dedicated to women’s history would help ensure that future generations understand what we owe to the many generations of American women who have helped build, sustain, and advance our society,” said Senator Collins. “They deserve a building to present the stories of pioneering women like abolitionist Harriet Tubman, founder of the Girl Scouts Juliette Gordon Low, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith, and astronaut Sally Ride.  This can and should be done at no expense to American taxpayers.”

A Commission to establish the National Women’s History Museum would provide a blueprint to finally honor half of our nation’s population,” Rep. Maloney said. “Funded with private donations and not tax dollars, an institution like this would acknowledge and commemorate the deep and lasting impact women have made in American history. We already have museums for flight, postage stamps, law enforcement and many other important people and issues of interest; women are long overdue for this recognition of their contributions to the very fabric of our country.”

Women have never been content simply to be half our population.  They have made remarkable contributions from the dawning days of the nation to today’s space and technological age,” Rep. Norton said.  “Yet, the nation has no central showcase for this essential part of our history.  That showcase for women’s contributions to the nation’s history should be in the nation’s capital.”

Although founded in 1996, the first Museum legislation for a site was not introduced until 2003.  The Museum has reviewed over 40 possible locations and narrowed its search down to 3 sites which it has considered publicly and has lobbied for on Capitol Hill.

“The failure of previous legislation actually proved to be beneficial because each delay subsequently led to the development of a better option,” Wages said. NWHM has previously offered to pay fair market value for federal land and to fund the Museum construction with private monies.

The Board has always opted for a location that will draw the largest possible attendance of visitors.  For example, one museum that is five blocks off the National Mall gets less than 200,000 yearly visitors while museums on the Mall get from one to seven million visitors annually. NWHM wants its exhibits and information to reach the widest possible audience.

“This will be the first museum in any nation’s capital to show the full scope of the history of its women and serve as a guiding light to people everywhere.”  Wages said.

The full text of the House version of the bill is viewable here.

Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the diverse historic contributions of women and integrating this rich heritage fully into our nation’s history. NWHM currently disseminates information on women’s history to thousands with close to 2 million hits annually through its Online Museum (   There are over 45,000 links and references to the website from educational institutions such as Harvard, Rutgers and Stanford.  In addition the Museum has over 50,000 Charter Members nationwide and a National Coalition of educational, service, and professional organizations with a reach of over 8.5 million members.  Together with a host of celebrity Ambassadors and supporters, such as Geena Davis, Catherine Hardwicke, Alfre Woodard, the late Nora Ephron and Meryl Streep, the Museum is working to build a world class women’s history museum at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.


Jan Du Plain at

TEL: 202-486-7004

Giving Women’s History a Home

March 5th, 2012

Giving Women’s History a Home

By Marianne Schnall | March 5, 2012

NWHM supporters Madeleine Albright (left)
and Meryl Streep with Joan Wages, NWHM president and CEO
Perhaps this year’s Women’s History Month will mark the success of a push for a National Women’s History Museum, a campaign that has built up an impressive history of its own.

March is Women’s History Month, when we celebrate the contributions of extraordinary women of the past. But while a month provides a meaningful focus for honoring women’s history, that awareness should be threaded into our culture and educational systems year-round.  Such a goal is behind a movement to build a museum in Washington, D.C., organized by a group called the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM). Read the rest of this entry »

NWHM Legislation Passes Out of House Committee

September 8th, 2011

NWHM is pleased to announce passage today of the National Women’s History Museum bill in the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Next stop, the House floor.

The NWHM bill was attached to other legislation supported by Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL) and re-introduced as HR 2844, the National Women’s History Museum and Federal Facilities Consolidation and Efficiency Act of 2011. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is a cosponsor of the bill.

The legislative language in the new bill revises and further clarifies the boundaries of the site that NWHM will be allowed to purchase at 12th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., adjacent to the National Mall. This change eliminates any questions as to Congressional intent and will be helpful in site negotiations with the General Services Administration (GSA), the nation’s landlord.

NWHM urges support for the passage of HR 2844. Please contact your Member of Congress to encourage their support for this bill. For more information on NWHM and legislation go to

Legislation Introduced in Senate

November 2nd, 2009

On October 29th, Senator Susan Collins introduced S. 2129, the National Women’s History Museum Act. There are 19 original cosponsors of the bill including Senators Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kay Hagan, Amy Klobuchar, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Claire McCaskill, Barbara Mikulski, Lisa Murkowski, Patty Murray, Jeanne Shaheen, Olympia Snowe and Debbie Stabenow, as well as Joe Lieberman, Chuck Grassley, Mark Pryor, and George Voinovich. It is identical language to the bill that recently passed the House. Read the rest of this entry »

HR 1700 Passes In The House!

October 14th, 2009

Washington, D.C. – The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) is pleased to announce that today the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 1700, also known as The National Women’s History Museum Act of 2009.

This legislation is the first critical step, to be followed by action in the U.S. Senate, that will allow NWHM to purchase federal land at 12th and Independence upon which to build a World Class National Women’s History Museum. Read the rest of this entry »

Maloney/Norton bill to create a National Women’s History Museum Passes House Committee

September 25th, 2009

For Immediate Release – September 24, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) today hailed committee passage of her bill, H.R. 1700, which establishes a National Women’s History Museum on the Mall in Washington, DC to honor the role that women have played in American History. It passed the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure by a voice vote.

“Less than five percent of the 2,400 national historic landmarks chronicle women’s achievement and of the 211 statues here in the U.S. Capitol, only ten are of female leaders,” Rep. Maloney said. “The museums and memorials in Washington are one measure of what our society values. We already have museums for stamps and spies. This bill would provide women, comprising 53% of our population, a long overdue home to honor their many contributions to building our country.” Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Design

April 16th, 2009

The winning architectural design for the African American Museum was announced this past week. There are several interesting points from our perspective as NWHM contemplates building its own museum. Most importantly is that the exterior design should be an extension of the museum’s program. Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Planning Process

April 10th, 2009

The African American Museum to be located on the National Mall is two or three years ahead of NWHM in its museum planning process, so we follow them with great interest. They spent much of the last few years designing the program of their museum – what it will have in it and how the story will be told. A design selection committee was chosen consisting of architects, historians, exhibit designers and other experts in museum design. Read the rest of this entry »

H.R. 6548

July 17th, 2008

General Services Administration Portfolio Enhancement Act of 2008 (Introduced in House)


2d Session

H. R. 6548

To authorize the Administrator of General Services to convey a parcel of real property in the District of Columbia.


July 17, 2008

Mrs. MALONEY of New York (for herself, Ms. DELAURO, Ms. PRYCE of Ohio, Ms. KAPTUR, and Ms. NORTON) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Read the rest of this entry »