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Gateway to Women's History

The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future was a museum located inside Fair Park in Dallas, Texas (USA), covering the subject of American women's history. The Women's Museum's 70,000-square-foot building provided a home for programs and exhibits where people could honor the past and explore the contributions of women throughout history. A nationally renowned institution offered a comprehensive exploration of American women’s history.

The Museum's Conception

The idea of the museum was originally conceived by Cathy Bonner in 1996. Wendy Evans Joseph was chosen as the design architect. She was previously senior designer for the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.. Exhibition design was provided by Whirlwind Creative. The museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, opened September 29, 2000.

The Museum's Mission

The mission of the Women's Museum was to inspire, educate, and stimulate their audience through the exploration of the successes, experiences, contributions and potential of women. Its main focus of the museum was to chronicle the contributions of women in various facets of history, including political, social, cultural, educational, and spiritual. Committed to promoting an understanding and awareness of women’s place in history, the Woman’s Museum’s permanent exhibits included: Women in History; Thought and Expression; It’s Amazing; Breaking Boundaries; Women’s Health; and Business and Technology.


On October 5, 2011, the museum announced it would close on October 31, 2011 due to lack of funds.


Notable Events

  • 1997: The creation of a national women’s museum in Fair Park is announced
  • 1998: A $10 million challenge grant from SBC Communications, the largest corporate gift in history to any women’s cause, is announced
  • 2000: The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future opens during the State Fair of Texas
  • 2004: Former Gov. Ann Richards and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison appear at a Stories From the Top event
  • 2008: Ebby Halliday is honored with the Lifetime Maura Women Helping Women Award
  • 2009: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Hutchison appear at a Stories From the Top event. Former first lady Laura Bush is honored with the International Maura Women Helping Women Award
Featured Items
Dora Dougherty Strother McKeown
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