Women's Museum of California

The mission of the Women's Museum of California (WMC) is to educate and inspire present and future generations about the experiences and contributions of diverse women by collecting, preserving, and interpreting their stories.  

The Women’s Museum of California was founded as the Women’s History Reclamation Project in 1983 by Mary Maschal. Originally an archival project, Maschal worked diligently to collect and preserve artifacts that demonstrated the history and experiences of women, especially here in San Diego and California. She shared her knowledge through speaking engagements, but in 1995 began opening her home to the public where she curated her vast collection to growing audiences. The community’s enthusiastic response to her exhibit open houses demonstrated the need in San Diego for a museum dedicated to women and their stories. 

Today, the WMC maintains Mary’s legacy and passion for preserving women’s history by educating people about women’s experiences and contributions through an active calendar of originally curated exhibits, educational programs, and community events. The museum’s vast archives, growing collections, and administration offices are located at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. 

Currently located at the San Diego History Center, the Women's Museum of California Archive collection houses nearly 300 linear feet of material documenting the life and work of prominent female leaders and organizations' commitment to women's rights and representation.


Images Description

Through online and in-person experiences, the Women's Museum of California explores different ways of sharing women's history and engaging with the San Diego community. As seen through a young woman dressed as Kate Sessions standing next to the statue of Kate Sessions in Balboa Park,  a Girl Scout holding “Votes 4 Women Now” sign at a Women’s Museum of California event in Balboa Park, and a pop-up exhibit featuring a suffrage costumes, round “Elect Women NOW” sign, and a Women’s March t-shirt located inside the San Diego History Center, and the book shelves of the Women’s Museum of California archives inside the San Diego History Center.