Washington Art Matters: 1940s–1980s tells the story of art made here during five crucial decades. As such, this is the first major effort by a museum to present a comprehensive history, representing those times with works by some 80 artists. The exhibition is based on Washington Art Matters: Art Life in the Capital 1940-1990, a book published by the Washington Artists Museum and co-authored by Jean Lawlor Cohen, Benjamin Forgey, Sidney Lawrence and Elizabeth Tebow.
Washington Art Matters: Art Life in the Capital 1940–1990 represents the closing project of the Washington Arts Museum, a curatorial mission that, for more than a decade, mounted shows of work by significant, perhaps neglected, regional artists. WAM founders Renee Butler and Giorgio Furioso envision the book, its broader essays and timelines, as an appropriate coda.