The First Ladies Collection

The First Ladies at the Smithsonian

The First Ladies Collection

When people think of the first ladies collection, they immediately think of the famous displays of gowns, but the collection is much more than clothing. With more than 1,000 objects, the collection documents the lives and contributions of America’s first ladies.

The collection has grown along with the public’s interest in learning more about the first ladies. It includes material related to their social and political activities as well as their gowns. This broader focus has made it possible for the Museum’s exhibitions to explore more complex and interpretive stories about the role that the first ladies played in American politics and culture.