First Ladies' Gowns Return to Smithsonian Exhibit

December 19, 2008 - 5:38 PM
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.
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.