Matrons of the Arts is a Museum-wide initiative that presents programs, exhibitions, and acquisitions by and about women artists. Inspired in part by the name five women artists project—and playing off the phrase patron of the arts—this campaign seeks to bring the public’s attention to women who have been and continue to be major figures in the world of art. While patrons are seen as advocators, backers, and boosters of art, matrons are left behind as stodgy dames and dowagers. We’re aiming to change the connotation of the word in the art world, elevating “matron” to champion, friend, and leader. A matron is no longer a passive bystander, but a fierce and powerful force.
By telling the stories of female artists whose work is in the NCMA’s permanent collection, exhibiting and acquiring more work by important women artists, hosting special events featuring female artists and authors, and selling merchandise that promotes women’s significant contribution to the arts, the NCMA joins the international drive to achieve a more diverse representation of female artists in museums around the world.
Women artists historically have been underrepresented in most museums. As the Museum continues to collect some of the best artists of our time—Yayoi Kusama, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, Susan Rothenberg, Elizabeth Murray, Alison Saar, Mickalene Thomas, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Zanele Muholi, and many others—we hope to challenge and change this oversight, beginning at our own institution.
To learn more about the Matrons of the Arts initiative, please email Marjorie Hodges, director of external relations and special projects, or call (919) 664-6860.
This initiative is generously supported by the Calvin and Marisa Allen Foundation, Anne Allen Cheatham, and Lizzie Cheatham McNairy and Charlie McNairy.
Harriet Hosmer, Daphne, 1853, marble sculpture. Purchased with funds provided by the Calvin and Marisa Allen Foundation, Anne Allen Cheatham, and Lizzie Cheatham McNairy and Charlie McNairy on behalf of the Matrons of the Arts Initiative, and by the bequest of Carlisle Adams.
The NCMA is committed to acquiring and showing the work of artists from all backgrounds and orientations, including gender.
Shop the Museum Store, located in West Building by Iris restaurant, for a special selection of books, gifts, and art by female authors, makers, and artists.
Join Kamara Thomas of Hella Witchy Tarot for a mythological exploration of “the oracle” and themes of the wild, fierce, and mystical feminine. This event includes a facilitated cleansing ritual; feel free to bring an offering. Ends at 7 pm.
Heather Hart’s Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off is installed in the Museum Park through the end of October. Visitors are invited to climb on the rooftop and venture inside, and it serves as a gathering space for programs and performances.
This project is generously supported by the Hartfield Foundation and Libby and Lee Buck.
Ticket sales and registration close September 27. Every camper must purchase a ticket and preregister by September 27. Tickets are nontransferable.
Choose your adventure during a night under the stars: enjoy down time in nature, or partake in guided art making, herbalism, outdoor yoga, storytelling, or basic women’s camping skills. Dinner and breakfast included; just bring camping gear.
No previous camping experience necessary. For ages 16 and up.
The campout begins at 4 pm Saturday, October 5 (arrive by 5 pm) and ends at 10 am Sunday, October 6. For a detailed schedule, directions, activities, packing list, and more, review the Registration Form and Waiver.
Support provided by Great Outdoor Provision Company.
Soon after the Nazis closed the Bauhaus in 1933, Josef and Anni Albers arrived in North Carolina as refugees. Their influence at the new Black Mountain College encouraged other former Bauhaus artists to join them. In this lecture Professor Julie Levin Caro, Warren Wilson College, explores the work of the couple and their conviction that art is central to human existence.
Curator Jennifer Dasal offers an in-depth look at the themes and content of the exhibition, focusing on the relationships between Frida and Diego, their collectors, and the other artists in their circle. Exhibition ticketed separately.
Frida Kahlo stepped into the limelight in 1929 when she married muralist Diego Rivera. Today Kahlo is acclaimed as a path-breaking artist and a cultural icon. International scholar and Kahlo expert Gannit Ankori of Brandeis University cuts through the “Fridamania” to explore her life and legacy.