Smithsonian Displays ‘Largest Collection of Statues of Women Ever Assembled’ – CNET

Smithsonian Displays ‘Largest Collection of Statues of Women Ever Assembled’ – CNET

The If/Then exhibit of 3D-printed women in STEM is on display on and around the National Mall in Washington, DC in March.

Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, is celebrating Women’s History Month with 120 eye-catching statues that make a profound statement. The life-size orange sculptures represent real contemporary women in STEM, from biologists to engineers to physicists.

This is the opening weekend for the exhibit, which is part of the institution’s Women’s Futures Month festival. The National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum and Smithsonian Gardens are partnering to host what the Smithsonian is calling “the largest collection of statues of women ever assembled together.” 

Lyda Hill Philanthropies is behind the #IfThenSheCan exhibit, which can be visited this month on and around the National Mall. The statues are “designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers,” the Smithsonian said.

The women portrayed in the statues had their bodies 3D-scanned. A 3D printer created the sculptures using layers of acrylic gel, a process that took about 10 hours for each one.

See also: Mark Women’s History Month With These Movies and TV Shows

“#IfThenSheCan brings unmissable 3D-printed statues of women working in STEM fields to our National Mall, examples to young women and girls of how far their dreams can carry them,” tweeted Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch on Friday. “These statues make visible the groundbreakers and mentors there to help make dreams into realities.”

The exhibit is a response to the lack of representation of women in public sculptures across the US and a lack of women in STEM fields. Seen together, the statues have a considerable visual impact, but they also act as mirrors, reflecting future paths for young women and girls.

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