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First Ladies Gowns

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Displayed in the Arts and Industries Building

First Ladies Gowns

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Displayed in the Arts and Industries Building

First Ladies Gowns

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
An earlier picture reflects a different arrangement of the mannequins.

In the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, the First Ladies Exhibit shows gowned figures placed in a period decorated East Room of the White House. They are from left to right: Florence Kling Harding, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, Lou Henry Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, Mamie Doud Eisenhower, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Claudia (Lady Bird) Taylor Johnson, and Patricia Nixon.

Event in First Ladies Hall

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Digital contact sheet available.

Event in First Ladies Hall at the National Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History.

First Ladies Hall

Smithsonian Institution Archives
First Ladies Hall at National Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History.

First Ladies Hall

Smithsonian Institution Archives
First Ladies Hall at National Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History.

First Ladies Hall

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Smithsonian Institution Press and Office of the Deputy Director, NMHT.

See also Record Unit 285, Box 20, Folder 3.

Arrangement of July 1972, with new Bess Truman gown.

Exhibit in First Ladies Hall at the Museum of Museum of History and Technology (MHT), now known as the National Museum of American History, featuring a replica of the East Room of the White House and "Gowns of the First Ladies": Florence King Harding, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, Lou Henry Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, Mamie Dowd Eisenhower, Jackqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Claudia (Lady Bird) Taylor Johnson, and Patricia Nixon.

First Ladies Hall

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Office of the Deputy Director, NMHT.

See also Record Unit 285, Box 20, Folder 3.

Arrangement of July 1972, with new Bess Truman gown.

Exhibit in First Ladies Hall at the Museum of Museum of History and Technology (MHT), now known as the National Museum of American History, featuring a replica of the East Room of the White House and "Gowns of the First Ladies": Florence King Harding, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, Lou Henry Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, Mamie Dowd Eisenhower, Jackqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Claudia (Lady Bird) Taylor Johnson, and Patricia Nixon.

First Ladies Hall

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Division of Political History.

Exhibit in First Ladies Hall at the Museum of Museum of History and Technology (MHT), now known as the National Museum of American History, featuring a replica of the East Room of the White House and "Gowns of the First Ladies."

First Ladies Hall

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Division of Political History.

Exhibit in First Ladies Hall at the Museum of Museum of History and Technology (MHT), now known as the National Museum of American History, featuring a replica of the East Room of the White House and "Gowns of the First Ladies."

First Ladies Hall

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Smithsonian Institution Press.

At National Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History.

First Ladies Hall

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Smithsonian Institution Press.

At National Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History.

First Ladies Gowns, Dolley Madison

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Displayed in the Arts and Industries Building

First Ladies Gowns

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
The installation in the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, of the First Ladies Exhibit shows gowned figures placed in the East Room as it looked during the 20th century. The dresses in this room are those worn by (left to right) Claudia (Lady Bird) Taylor Johnson, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Mamie Doud Eisenhower, Bess Wallace Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lou Henry Hoover, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, and Florence Kling Harding. The gold Steinway grand piano was given to the White House in 1903.

First Ladies Hall, NMHT

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
View of one of the exhibits in the First Ladies Hall, National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, featuring at far right the addition of the gown of First Lady Mrs. Patricia Nixon. The following are also pictured from left to right: Florence King Harding, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, Lou Henry Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, Mamie Dowd Eisenhower, Jackqueline Bouvier Kennedy, and Claudia (Lady Bird) Taylor Johnson.

First Ladies Hall Diorama, Dolley Madison, 1961

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Also known as P65196.

Requested from Photographic Services Division by Division of Political History.

First Ladies Hall Diorama, Dolley Madison, 1961

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Also known as P65196.

Requested from Photographic Services Division by Division of Political History.

First Ladies Exhibit in the A&I Building

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
For additional information on the collection see the book entitled "The First Ladies Hall" by Margaret Brown Klapthor, Smithsonian Press 1972. Gowns in the collection were mounted on a plaster figure which were given similar facial features copied from a bust representing Cordelia, daughter of Shakespeare's King Lear, done in 1863 by the sculptor Pierce F. Connelly, of Louisiana. By changing the expression of the eyes of each figure, and by copying the coiffure of the lady to be represented, a varied and interesting appearance was given to the entire group. The coiffure was copied from a photograph, painting, or piece of statuary of the lady whose dress was to be displayed. No attempt was made to portray the person represented, as the artistic task involved made this impractical.

The First Ladies Hall was housed in the Arts & Industries Building from 1912 until it moved in the 1960's to the Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History. From 1912 until 1955 the gowns were displayed in cases, as seen here in the 1920's. After 1955 gowns were displayed in room settings. Exhibit cases of First Ladies Gowns were probably in the northwest range of the Arts and Industries Building. A woman is looking in the case to the left at the dress of Harriet Lane Johnston, niece of President James Buchanan. A woman and a man are looking in the case to the right which contains the dress of Jane Appleton Pierce (left), wife of President Franklin Pierce, and a dress of Abigail Powers Fillmore (right), wife of President Millard Fillmore.

SI Staff Constructing First Ladies Mannequins

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Digital contact sheet available.

Selections available as image set.

Requested from Photographic Services Division by Division of Political History.

Film received from division.

Construction of Bess Wallace Truman and Angelica Van Buren mannequins for First Ladies Hall exhibition at the National Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History.

First Ladies Gowns, Edith Bolling Wilson

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Displayed in the Arts and Industries Building

First Ladies Gowns, Martha Washington on left

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Displayed in the Arts and Industries Building

First Ladies Gowns, Jacqueline Kennedy

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
For a view of the gown see negative # X2019

Gown and cape worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of President John F. Kennedy, 1961-1963, to the Inaugural Ball. The dress is part of the First Ladies' Collection of the National Museum of American History (NMAH).

First Ladies Gowns, Mary Todd Lincoln

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
In this image the mannequin's face has been painted. In an earlier exhibit, the face is unpainted (See Neg. #38067.)

Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882), wife of President Abraham Lincoln is dressed in a gown of royal purple velvet with a tight bodice and full skirt of the hoop-skirt period. The seams of the dress, skirt, and bodice, the hem of the skirt, and the bottom of the bodice are piped with narrow white-satin cord. The neck is trimmed with an elaborate fichu of black Alencon lace with a white edge, and a bouquet of pansies is placed at her bosom. The short puffed sleeves are made of white net and Alencon lace. The fan is purple taffeta. The dress is part of the First Ladies Collection at the National Museum of American History.
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