ROUNDUP: Five Online Museum Exhibits to Visit for Women’s History Month

Every March the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia celebrate Women’s History Month. It’s a month to recognize the lives and achievements of women and it coincides with International Women’s Day on March 8. Women’s History Week began in California in 1978 and was expanded to become a national month-long celebration in 1987.

While there are museum exhibits year-round that focus on women and their contributions to society, other museums and historic sites launch exhibits specifically to coincide with Women’s History Month. Either way, this is a great opportunity to check out an exhibit—virtually or in person—that highlights women.

This list contains five exhibits you can experience no matter where you’re located.

CREATING ICONS at the National Museum of American History
Artwork courtesy of the National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History’s virtual exhibit, “Creating Icons: How We Remember Woman Suffrage,” seeks to illuminate the women who have been left out of the narrative around the fight for women’s voting rights. The history of women’s suffrage that we learn in schools is often centered around the same group of well-to-do white women, but there were many others who made important contributions. The exhibit is filled with photographs and explains not only the historiography of the women’s suffrage moment, but also shows some of the women whose stories have often gone untold.

THE WOMEN OF NASA at the National Women’s History Museum
Photograph courtesy of the National Women’s History Museum

The National Women’s History Museum has a large selection of online exhibits, covering topics ranging women in fashion to sports to wartime. One exhibit, “The Women of NASA,” looks at the ways in which women have contributed to NASA over the past century. Complete with great photographs and separated into slides for easy reading, it’s a simple way to absorb a lot about individual women who have had a hand in the United States’ space exploration. You can even learn about Katherine Johnson, whose name you might recognize from the movie “Hidden Figures.”

MARY ELLEN MARK: GIRLHOOD at the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Photograph courtesy of the National Museum of Women in the Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to female artists. Their new exhibit is a collection of Mark’s photographs of girls and young women that were taken over the course of her illustrious career. Mark, who was born in 1940 and passed in 2015, spent her career documenting those “who might otherwise be unknown or forgotten.” Along with the photographs themselves, which represent a diversity of location and period, is illuminating information about Mark’s career.

VOTES FOR WOMEN: A VISUAL HISTORY at the Brandywine River Museum
Photograph courtesy of the Brandywine River Museum

“Votes for Women: A Visual History” is a fantastic online exhibition from the Brandywine River Museum about the Women’s Suffrage Movement. It combines text, photographs and videos of curators explaining different aspects of the physical exhibits. It’s a remarkably thorough lesson on women’s suffrage and a very easy-to-use site. The videos, in particular, provide a special experience with more information than a visitor would receive if visiting the museum in person. 

WOMEN IN THE OLYMPICS at the National Women’s History Museum
Photograph courtesy of the National Women’s History Museum

Another exciting online exhibit at the National Women’s History Museum details the achievements of women in the Olympic games. The interactive timeline allows you to trace women’s involvement in the Olympics, with photographs going all the way back to women’s first time competing in 1900, in the second Olympic games. Later entries on the timeline contain video footage from the games. Overall, it’s a great way to see that women have been an important part of the Olympics for over 100 years.

There are lots of other exhibits, both online and in person, that you can visit this month to learn more about women’s history. Make sure to also check event calendars for special lectures and panels. The five exhibits above are a great starting place for getting involved in Women’s History Month. Enjoy!

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