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Washington, U.S.A. – The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) closes its 25th Anniversary year by saluting women’s contributions to rock and roll in “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power.” Organized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the exhibition highlights the flashpoints, the firsts, the celebrated, and the lesser-known women who have influenced the genre from its inception through today. The only east coast venue, “Women Who Rockopens” Friday, September 7, 2012, and closes January 6, 2013.
Moving through the rock and roll eras beginning in the 1920s, the exhibition highlights 70 artists and more than 250 artifacts ranging from photos, performance videos, and album covers, to more personal memorabilia such as costumes, instruments, and set lists.
From rock-and-roll foremothers such as Ma Rainey and Billie Holiday, to pioneers such as Wanda Jackson and LaVern Baker through 60s girl groups, 70s disco, 80s punk, and contemporary stars including Lady Gaga and Janelle Monae, “Women Who Rock” illustrates the essential roles women have played in moving rock and roll and American culture forward.
Visitors of all ages have a chance to see iconic items—handwritten lyrics by Janis Joplin, Patti Smith,Janet Jackson and Madonna, alongside clothes worn by Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Cher, Melissa Etheridge, and Rihanna among many others—demonstrating women’s musical creativity and power to inspire through rock and roll.
In addition to being the writer and/or voice of some of our favorite songs, many women rockers were also playing instruments in their bands. “Women Who Rock” features guitars played by Wanda Jackson,Nancy Wilson, Bonnie Raitt and Taylor Swift, a drum played by Meg White and Lady Gaga’s childhood piano.
Founded in 1981 and opened in 1987, NMWA is the only museum solely dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts. The museum’s collection features 4,000 works from the 16th century to the present created by more than 1,000 artists.
Image Courtesy of Lady Gaga