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The First Ladies

November 19, 2011 – Indefinitely

Martha Washington wore this silk taffeta gown in the early 1780s. The silk is painted with a design of flowers, butterflies, and other insects. The collar and cuffs are reproductions.

The First Ladies

National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC
3rd Floor, Center, Rose Gallery, enter from American Presidency

Learn how first ladies have shaped the role of first lady as the role of women in society evolved. On view are more than two dozen gowns, including those worn by Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Four cases provide in-depth looks at Dolley Madison, Mary Todd Lincoln, Edith Roosevelt, and Lady Bird Johnson and their contributions to their husband’s presidential administrations.

Related book: The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection

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