National Women's History Museum

The National Women's History Museum (NWHM) is a museum and an American history organization that "researches, collects and exhibits the contributions of women to the social, cultural, economic and political life of our nation in a context of world history." The NWHM was founded in 1996 by Karen Staser.[1] It currently offers an online museum, educational programs, scholarship and research with plans to establish a museum at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.[1][2][3][4][5]

National Women's History Museum
FounderKaren Staser
TypeCharitable organization
Key people
Joan Wages, President & CEO
Laura Dale Rheintgen, Director of Development
Elizabeth Maurer, Director of Program

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 established the museum in December 2020, creating a council to develop the museum and raise funds for construction of a building on the Mall.


The National Women's History Museum was founded in 1996 by Karen Staser.[1] It currently curates online exhibitions and provides educational materials for school. NWHM has been leading the effort to build a permanent museum dedicated to displaying the collective history of American women on or near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In December 2014, Congress voted to create a congressional commission to study the creation of a National Women's History Museum.

As of June 2017, the museum maintains a presence online through social media and a comprehensive website which hosts many online exhibits where visitors can learn about the history of American women. The website also serves as a platform to promote NWHM's mission and generate support.[6][7]

The US House of Representatives passed a bill, H.R. 1980, in February 2020 to establish a women's history museum within the Smithsonian Institution with a location on the National Mall.[8] It was included in the Consolidates Appropriations Act, along with the National Museum of the American Latino, and creates a council that will name the museum, advise the Smithsonian on planning, design, and construction of a building, acquire artifacts, and develop exhibits. The building site will be either across the National Mall from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, north of the Holocaust Memorial Museum, or east of the National Gallery of Art, across from the United States Botanic Garden.


  1. ^ a b c "About Us". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  2. ^ Kim, Clare. "Michele Bachmann slams National Women's History Museum". MSNBC. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  3. ^ Thoet, Alison. "Congressional commission proposes women's history museum". PBS News Hour. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  4. ^ Marcotte, Amanda. "The Long, Controversial History of the National Women's History Museum, Which Still Does Not Exist". Slate. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Read the Exclusive Q&A With the Women Behind the National Women's History Museum". Makers. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  6. ^ "About NWHM". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 30 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Online Exhibits". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 2017-06-07.
  8. ^ Wu, Nicholas. "House votes to establish Smithsonian women's history museum on the National Mall". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-02-13.

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