Smithsonian Women’s Committee

The Smithsonian Women's Committee (SWC) is a volunteer organization founded in 1966 to advance the interests of the Smithsonian Institution through fundraising activities and special projects. Since its founding by Mary Ripley, wife of Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley (Secretary of the Institution 1964-1984), the SWC has supported the Smithsonian with grant awards and endowments totaling more than $9 million. Through a rigorous grants process, the Committee funds projects in education, acquisitions, research, conservation, and outreach within the Smithsonian complex of 19 museums and galleries, scientific facilities and the National Zoo.

The annual Smithsonian Craft Show began in 1983 when craft exhibitions were a rarity in Washington and is now widely regarded as the nation's premier juried exhibition and sale of fine American crafts. Each year a new jury of three experts brings a fresh perspective to selecting exhibitors for that year's show. No artist is automatically invited back; all previous exhibitors must reapply and be evaluated by the jury. As a result, each new show is different from previous shows, and is always an exciting presentation of excellence in American craft.

The Committee’s newest event, Craft2Wear, was begun in 2005. It is a fall sale of jewelry and wearable art featuring exhibitors who have been juried into at least one previous Smithsonian Craft Show. Proceeds from both these shows are used to support the Institution.

Now in its 46th year, the SWC remains a vibrant and effective ambassador and fundraiser for the Smithsonian.

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Digital Access

Online Collections

Online Collections
Thousands of rare and colorful letters, prints, and sketches of the Archives of American Art can be accessed online because of a farsighted foundation grant.

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