Women are not well represented in senior positions in many career fields and sectors. While that fact is well known, what isn’t is that the same is true in the field of art. The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only museum of its kind exclusively dedicated to showcasing and celebrating women artists. Created by Wilhelmina Cole Holladay (or Billie), now in her 90s, and her late husband Wallace Holladay, the museum opened its doors in 1987. Mrs. Holladay’s vision and her passion for women artists, something she referred to in her book as “the art world’s most astonishing blind spot,” come to life in our conversation with her daughter-in-law Winton Holladay, who serves as the museum board vice chair, and Susan Fisher Sterling, the museum’s director. Mrs. Holladay, Winton and Susan are a compelling example of the power of women collaborating in support of a shared passion. Their stories and reflections on how this historic and iconic landmark came to be provide a powerful and inspiring example of women using their voices and their passions to have impact.
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