A screenshot of the NMWA's Louise Bourgeois event page.

Virtual Happy Hour: Louise Bourgeois Birthday Celebration

The singular artist Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris on December 25, 1911. By the time she died in 2010, her work was in museums and galleries across the world—including, notably, the National Gallery of Art, even though it took most of her life for her to gain significant recognition. Her most iconic works are her sculptures of spiders, monumental, cast in dimpled and bulbous bronze, that have an aura of graceful femininity and fierceness. (You might recognize the one from the National Gallery’s sculpture garden, gently teetering on spindly legs.) They are inspired, famously, by her mother, who died when Bourgeois was 21. Much of her work is based in memories of childhood and family and addressed femininity and domesticity from unexplored angles; those themes were clear in her 2009 retrospective at the Hirshhorn, and in a 2018 show at Glenstone, family and its attendant comforts and hurts saturated the work. Though it’s been 10 years since her death, Bourgeois’ shadow looms large in the art world, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts is celebrating her life and career with a virtual happy hour on Dec. 17. Tune in to hear from Amei Wallach, who directed an acclaimed documentary about Bourgeois, and Andra ‘AJ’ Johnson, who will teach participants to make a craft cocktail called, appropriately, “The Web She Weaves.” The event begins at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 17. Registration is available at nmwa.org. Free.