Since its opening in 1954, the McNay has consistently collected and presented artwork by women. The Museum’s founder, Marion Koogler McNay, was an artist and a supporter of the arts–and we strive to honor her legacy.
Womanish: Audacious, Courageous, Willful Art features artwork by women acquired by the McNay from 2010 to the present. In 2010, the McNay presented the landmark exhibition Neither Model Nor Muse, which celebrated artwork by women from all of the Museum’s major collecting areas. Envisioned as a second chapter to this exhibition, Womanish features over 70 artists and demonstrates the McNay’s ongoing commitment to women.
The title of this exhibition is inspired by Alice Walker’s essay Womanist, in which she defines womanish as, “Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior.” By highlighting the wide variety of ways women express themselves through art, this exhibition aims to celebrate the term “womanish,” which is all too often considered derogatory.
The artwork represented spans over 90 years and includes portraiture, abstraction, landscapes, and more. This exhibition includes regionally, nationally, and internationally known artists, who exemplify a range of lived experiences as well as many sources of inspiration.