First Ladies' Gowns Return to Smithsonian Exhibit

By Staff | December 19, 2008 | 4:38 PM EST
Washington (AP) - Gowns worn by first ladies during the past 100 years are returning to public view in a revamped gallery at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
 
The exhibit, "First Ladies at the Smithsonian," opens Friday. The dresses include Grace Coolidge's flapper-style evening dress and Eleanor Roosevelt's pink gown from the 1945 inauguration reception.
 
One of the oldest gowns in the collection, Helen Taft's 1909 white-silk chiffon inaugural gown, will also be displayed.
 
The gowns had been on display before the museum underwent an $85 million facelift. The museum reopened a month ago.
 
Museum director Brent Glass says the first ladies exhibit dates back to 1914. It was the first Smithsonian exhibit to prominently feature women.
Gowns worn by first ladies during the past 100 years are returning to public view in a revamped gallery at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.