Combining more than 60 Renaissance- and Baroque-era pieces from private and public collections from across the world, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., recently unveiled a new exhibit called Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea.
This exhibition aims for patrons to explore "the concept of womanhood represented by the Virgin Mary, as well as the social and sacred functions her image has served through time," according to the museum.
"Virgin and Child" by Elisabetta Sirani — Photo courtesy of National Museum of Women in the Arts
The show is divided into six sections, with pieces reflecting different themes: Mary in the Life of Believers, Mary as Idea, A Singular Idea, Mother of the Crucified, Woman and Mother and then Madonna and Child. The mediums include ink on paper, clothing, silver, marble, oil on canvas and glazed terracotta. Some of the featured artists include Sandro Botticelli, Fra Filippo Lippi and Elisabetta Sirani.
Be sure to check out the museum's website, which features a map showing where each piece in the collection came from and fun facts about the selections, including who lent the item, dimensions and medium.
Another must-see web feature is "A Global Icon: Mary in Context," which investigates the global impact of Mary.
First opened in early December, this exhibit runs until Sunday, April 12, 2015.
As you approach, make sure to view the third installment of the New York Avenue Sculpture Project outside, which features changing contemporary installations produced by female artists.
Outside view of the National Museum of Women in the Arts — Photo courtesy of National Museum of Women in the Arts
Currently on display until next September are pieces by Magdalena Abakanowic. Visitors will see the towering Walking Figures – headless humans made in bronze and stainless steel birds in flight.
Renowned artists Niki de Saint Phalle and Chakaia Booker previously had their work featured in the project. Phalle's featured four colorful contemporary mosaic sculptures, completed with polyester, mirror, ceramic and glass. Booker also showcased four pieces, using rubber tires as a medium.
Before you go, know that patrons may take pictures but cannot use flash photography or other special equipment. Guests aren't allowed to photograph special exhibits or works of art that are on loan.
While many museums in the nation's capital are free, this one has an admission fee of $10 for adults and $8 for students and guests 65 and older. Youth 18 and under get in for free.
The museum also has future exhibitions on its website, so if you plan on coming to Washington, D.C., then check out what will be on display.