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First Ladies

The 10 most-read posts of 2017

2017 was another incredible year on the museum’s blog. More than a few of our most-read posts focused on how the museum continues to grow with new exhibitions, new staff, and new collections.

The continuing tradition: The Smithsonian receives Mrs. Trump's inaugural gown

Have you heard? We have a new dress on exhibition. It's true. There has been an addition to the First Ladies exhibition. First Lady Melania Trump visited the National Museum of American History today to formally present her 2017 inaugural ball gown to the collection. The vanilla silk crepe off-the-shoulder gown has a slit skirt, a ruffled accent trim encircling the neckline that flows down to the hem to trail ever so slightly onto the floor, and a thin claret ribbon tied around the waist in a small bow.

Sunae Park Evans: First Lady of costume conservation

Sunae Park Evans probably knows Martha Washington’s measurements better than anyone, including her own seamstress. As the senior costume conservator at the museum, Evans cares for the museum’s costumes and textiles, from the First Ladies collection to the Muppets.

“The First Ladies” Exhibition Opens at National Museum of American History

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will open “The First Ladies,” a display that showcases premier objects from the nearly century-old First Ladies Collection, Nov. 19. For decades the First Ladies Collection has been one of the most popular attractions at the Smithsonian.

Smithsonian Accepts Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ball Gown

First Lady Michelle Obama formally presented the gown she wore to the 2009 inaugural balls to the Smithsonian’s First Ladies Collection Tuesday, March 9, during a ceremony at the National Museum of American History. The gown will be displayed in the center of a new gallery addition to the museum’s popular exhibition, “The First Ladies at the Smithsonian.” The new gallery, “A First Lady’s Debut,” opens to the public March 10.

National Museum of American History Expands “First Ladies at the Smithsonian”

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History expands its popular exhibition, “The First Ladies at the Smithsonian,” with a new gallery featuring 11 gowns representing first ladies from Mamie Eisenhower to Michelle Obama, opening Wednesday, March 10.

Curators at the National Museum of American History Collect 2008 Campaign Memorabilia

When Smithsonian curators Larry Bird and Harry Rubenstein attend the Democratic and Republican National Conventions for the 2008 presidential campaigns, their purpose is to record history. Bird and Rubenstein have been collecting campaign memorabilia since 1980 to add to the National Museum of American History’s political history collection.

“Campaign memorabilia represent a celebration of democracy and how people express their identity and the identity of the nation,” said Rubenstein.

Media Open House for “First Ladies at the Smithsonian”

WHAT: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History invites press to preview “First Ladies at the Smithsonian,” a showcase of premier objects from the First Ladies Collection.

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 19 9-11 a.m.

WHERE: National Museum of American History
12th Street and Madison Drive N.W.

NOTE: Enter via Mall entrance at Madison Drive

WHO: Lisa Kathleen Graddy, curator, will be on hand to answer questions.