Washington DC – Commemorating women in 2020

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Washington DC – Commemorating women in 2020

Because of the presidential elections, the political capital of the United States will make the headlines in 2020. Discover exceptional women who will be celebrated throughout the year.

Washington DC – Commemorating women in 2020

A centenary to celebrate

Over the coming months, Washington DC will be commemorating a historic event: the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote on 18 August 1920. The capital, home to major institutions of the US federal state, has therefore decided to celebrate the date with a whole host of exhibitions. Before visiting any of them, start by going to the Capitol rotunda. It is here that your journey really begins. The impressive dome in fact houses a monumental sculpture created by a woman – Adelaide Johnson – paying tribute to three other female pioneers behind the passing of the 19th amendment: Lucretia Mott, founder of the women's rights movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, author of the "Declaration of Sentiments" on women's rights (1848) and Susan B. Anthony, a staunch advocate of the cause.

After the sculpture, you can discover the actual faces of these iconic women by visiting the Women of Progress exhibition. The National Portrait Gallery is showing the very first portrait photographs of these feminists, passed on to posterity. The daguerreotypes and ambrotypes – the technique had only just been invented – date from the 1840s and 1850s. They reveal the faces, the marks of time and the determined gaze of these political heroines.

US Capitol
First Street SE
Washington, DC 20004
United States of America


National Portrait Gallery
"Women of Progress" (until May 2020)
8th and F Streets NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States of America

Washington DC – Commemorating women in 2020

A celebration of all American women

With its incredible collection, the National Archives Museum is putting on an exhibition called Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote which brings to life the complete history of women's rights in the United States. This journey back in time is especially lively as you have access to hitherto unreleased audio documents, films from the era which are both striking and moving, and press articles that give a window into the state of mind of the people and the political decision-makers of the age… This exhibition is an educational discovery accessible to all. To dig even deeper into the subject, you can continue your exploration in the Library of Congress which has opted for a political approach to the movement, based on the countless fascinating documents at its disposal.

A 30-minute walk away, the National Museum of American History has decided to go one step further than just a commemoration by highlighting all the women who remained in the shadows for centuries, without any real social or financial recognition, regardless of their class or race. The exhibition All Work, No Pay takes you through a display of aprons, pockets, housedresses and other objects from the world of domestic work, the exclusive preserve of women from the colonial period until the 1990s. In contrast to the popular expression “All work deserves payment”, this initiative by the National Museum of American History intends to show just how long cultural change takes.

An anthem to female creativity

Washington DC did not wait for this centenary to celebrate women, especially in the field of arts. In 1987, the city set up the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), occupying the old Masonic Temple, not far from the White House. It is the only one of its kind in the world. You can admire over 4,500 works of art, including prints by American Mary Cassatt (19th century), Mexican Frida Kahlo (20th century) and even French artist Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (18th century), remembered for being the portrait painter of Queen Marie-Antoinette. If you are at the museum at two in the afternoon, you can take part in the "conversation pieces" (free with museum admission, reservations not required): 30 minutes led by a speaker, exploring two works on display down to the last detail. This daily event provides both a full and fascinating experience.

National Archives Museum
"Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote" (until January 2021)
701 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20408
United States of America

Library of Congress
"Shall Not Be Denied": Women Fight for the Vote' (until September 2020)
101 Independence Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20540
United States of America

National Museum of American History
"All Work, No Pay" (until February 2021)
Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20560
United States of America

National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America

Washington DC – Commemorating women in 2020

Green getaway and gourmet break along the Potomac River

At the end of this commemorative itinerary or even between two visits, take time to enjoy the green side of Washington. The city can in fact boast about being one of the first to be LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognised green building certification scheme. Through this system, local architecture aims to be more respectful of the environment, with better integration into the landscape and better management of energy requirements. At the same time, tree-planting campaigns have been initiated and floating wetlands have been created to help fauna and flora flourish. Stroll for a while along the banks of the Potomac River. If the weather is good, head to East Potomac Park. There are two activities you can play there that are perfect for both families and friends: footgolf, a combination of football and golf, consisting of four players competing to kick a football into a hole in as few shots as possible; and the oldest miniature golf in Washington. Make the most of this privileged little corner of paradise, just a few minutes from the city centre. You will really relish the tranquillity of the green surroundings and appreciate this special moment.

As every trip has to include a few gourmet interludes, you make a booking for Sunday brunch at Sequoia. Located on the banks of the Potomac River, its terrace has fabulous views over the water to Roosevelt Island, the Kennedy Center and the skyline beyond. The buffet here is all-you-can-eat and the dishes are prepared in front of you. For savoury items, you wander from the meat stand to the shellfish stand (clams, mussels, prawns) as the fancy takes you. Do not forget to try the crab cakes, the house special. For sweet items, you will not be able to resist the waffles, numerous fruit tartlets and meringue cakes, not to mention the chocolate fountain. A 100% gourmet brunch.

East Potomac Park Golf Course
972 Ohio Drive
Washington, DC 20024
United States of America

3000 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
United States of America
+1 202 944 4200

Prepare for your stay in the best possible way and make the most of your visit by taking a look at our guide to Washington.