Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Women's Museum

My aunt visited from Michigan during the Christmas holidays as she has annually for the last few years. While living in California there was never a shortage of things to do, but having moved to Dallas earlier in the year I knew that Texas was a far cry from California. Months before her arrival I scurried around to find inexpensive things to do in Dallas and happened upon this treasure.

The Women's Museum is located in a historic area of Dallas, along with several other museums, the Cotton Bowl, and the grounds in which the State Fair is held. On the outside it is an older, but well kempt building, but not remarkable. However when you enter the building you will find beautiful hardwood flooring, high ceilings, and impeccably restored architecture. The fare to enter the museum was very reasonable at 5 dollars for adults.

The museum had all types of exhibits from a short film that depicting female comedians over the years (they even had footage of Moms Mabley and Totie Fields) to women who fought for freedom, women's rights, and dignity for all humans. I was in awe of how the museum has included women of all cultures, races, and ethnicities. There mission statement sums up the museum's purpose "The Museum and Institute bring to life the voices, talents, achievements, aspirations and stories of the past, present and future in order to to popularize the contributions and achievements of American Women".

The museum also host traveling exhibits including the one that was on location when I visited. Women's Perspectives: A journey through the AT&T Art Collection features 50 pieces from around the country of modern and contemporary art compiled exclusively for The Women’s Museum. The exhibition includes paintings, prints, textiles and sculptures by women artists from the 1978 to 1995, bringing a wide array of art media.

In the main gallery there was a time line from the 19th through the 21st centuries depicting the struggles that women endured in the quest for freedom, full citizenship, voting rights, and reproduction rights. These struggles made it possible for women to enjoy the benefits and privileges that currently possess. I felt humbled and thankful for these women, some who have passed on, but others who still fighting the good fight.

My aunt and I left the museum more informed than when we entered. It opened up a conversation about women, such as Barbara Jordan, Margaret Sanger, and Delores Huerta. I highly recommend that anyone visiting the area take their children and introduce them to the women whose contributions have changed the world.

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