Welcome! We're here to advance your understanding of women's contributions throughout American history.
Decades in the making, the Smithsonian Institution is building an American Women's History Museum in our nation's capital. Women have contributed to America’s most defining moments—times that shaped constitutional rights, yielded scientific breakthroughs, created the symbols of our nation. Yet a diversity of women’s stories has not been widely told. To create a more equitable America, the Smithsonian is researching, disseminating, and amplifying the histories of American women through its American Women’s History Initiative in preparation for the future Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. The Smithsonian wants the role of women in American history to be well-known, accurate, acknowledged, and empowering.
With a digital-first mission and focus, the Smithsonian amplifies a diversity of women’s voices in a new museum and throughout the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, cultural heritage affiliates, and anywhere people are online. Through these efforts we reach millions of people in Washington, D.C., across the nation, and around the world.
Decades in the making, the Smithsonian Institution is building an American Women's History Museum in our nation's capital.
Our ambition is to bring to light women's accomplishments, the history they made, and the communities they represented—both seen and unseen. We're committed to chronicling the toils, travails, and triumphs, the household names and unsung heroes—all in the hope these stories will educate and inspire future generations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Based upon previous experience constructing museums, the Smithsonian estimates it will be at least ten years before physical buildings are open to the public.
Lisa Sasaki is the Interim Director of Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.
An advisory council has been formed and is composed of 19 citizens, the Smithsonian Secretary, a member of the Board of Regents, and four members appointed by congressional leadership.
Learn more about the Smithsonian American Women's Museum leadership.
No. The Smithsonian is not affiliated with the National Museum of Women's History or the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Congress signed legislation to create the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum on December 27, 2020, making the Smithsonian museum a new entity. The National Museum of Women's History and the National Museum of Women in the Arts are separate nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations.
The Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum will be brought to life via a public-private partnership. In addition to federal appropriations, philanthropy and support from the public will be essential for the development of the Museum.
By making a tax-deductible donation, you can help the Smithsonian build an American Women’s History Museum in our nation’s capital.
The museum is not accepting object donations at this time. We greatly appreciate people’s willingness to donate objects to the new museum, but we ask for your patience and understanding while we develop the internal infrastructure to assess, house, conserve, and care for the museum’s future collections.
Read the latest updates from the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum and the American Women's History Initiative, meet our curators, and more.