Barbara Pierce Bush, 1989-1993

Barbara Bush’s Inaugural Gown, 1989
Gift of Barbara Bush

Royal-blue gown with velvet bodice and asymmetrically draped silk satin skirt, designed by Arnold Scassi. Barbara Bush wore her trademark costume pearls with her inaugural gown and carried a purse designed by Judith Leiber.

Barbara Bush, a long-time advocate of literacy programs, continued that work as first lady. In 1989 she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and supported literacy projects with profits from her 1990 “collaboration” with the family dog, Millie’s Book. During the Gulf War she spoke to military audiences in encouragement and support and joined the president on a visit to American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia.