Womanish: Audacious, Courageous, Willful Art Opens at the McNay Art Museum, Featuring 80 Artists  

Media Contact

Yolanda Urrabazo
Head of Communications and Marketing
(o) 210.805.1718

(San Antonio, TX) – Opening at the start of Women’s History Month on March 4, 2023 at the McNay Art Museum, Womanish: Audacious, Courageous, Willful Art presents works of art by women that were acquired for the Museum’s permanent collection over the last dozen years.  

On view through July 2, 2023, visitors will enjoy artwork by regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized artists. Several works of art are on view for the first time at the McNay, including Kara Walker’s Testimony and Agnes Martin’s On a Clear Day, among others. The exhibition also highlights the talent within San Antonio’s community through works by Leigh Anne Lester, Kelly O’Connor, Margaret Mitchell, Antonia Padilla, Katie Pell, Eva Marengo Sanchez, Ethel Shipton, and Liz Ward. The exhibition is organized by universal themes of empowerment, nature, science, culture, history, and identity. 

Inspired by Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983), the title of this exhibition reclaims the term “womanish,” often considered derogatory, from a place of empowerment. Walker defined the term as: “Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior.”   

“From theater arts and works on paper to a dynamic mix of modern and contemporary sculpture, video, and prints, Womanish honors the McNay’s commitment to championing women artists,” said Matthew McLendon, PhD, McNay Director and CEO. “Works of art from 80 artists across the span of 90 years join together in a thought-provoking presentation with themes that are universal.”  

What San Antonio should know about Womanish 

  • Presents a selection of artwork acquired by the McNay since 2010 with 80 artists represented 
  • Includes artwork from all of the McNay’s major collecting areas, including Modern and Contemporary Art, works on paper, and theatre arts 
  • Exhibition is organized thematically, rather than chronologically, to promote critical thinking about similarities and differences between works of art 

Free community events for Womanish 

  • McNay Family Day: Go Far on Sunday, April 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. 
  • Exhibition Closing Performance on Sunday, July 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. 

Womanish: Audacious, Courageous, Willful Art is organized for the McNay Art Museum by Lauren Thompson, Assistant Curator; Liz Paris, Collections Manager; Kim Neptune, The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund Assistant Curator; and Paula Contreras, 2022-2023 Semmes Foundation Intern in Museum Studies.  

Lead funding is most generously provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992. Major funding is provided by the Tobin Endowment in memory of Margaret Batts Tobin. Additional support is provided by the Semmes Foundation, Inc.; Frost Charitable Foundation; and Host Committee, chaired by Harriett and Ricardo Romo.  

Photos Available Here 

B-roll Available Here 

About McNay Art Museum  

The McNay Art Museum engages a diverse community in the discovery and enjoyment of the visual arts. Built in the 1920s by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay, the Spanish Colonial Revival residence became the site of Texas’s first modern art museum when it opened in 1954. Today, 200,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Deborah Butterfield, Margarita Cabrera, Paul Gauguin, vanessa german, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Deborah Roberts. The 25 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds include sculptures by Willie Cole, Robert Indiana, Luis A. Jiménez Jr., Alejandro Martín, George Rickey, Joel Shapiro, Kiki Smith, Tom Wesselmann, and more. The McNay is open Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m.  

Media Contact: Rachel Trevino, 210-854-8889; rachel@talk-strategy.com 

Due to a maintenance issue, the museum will close at 5 p.m. today. Tonight’s Gallery Talk will be rescheduled for a later date. We will return to regular hours tomorrow.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to welcoming you soon.