Our museum is temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

First Ladies

The 10 most-read posts of 2017

Collage of images taken from various blog posts, from photos of gowns to a portrait of a soldier in World War 1

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

Photo of white gown in front of black background. It's off-the-shoulder with a cross-body sash in front along with red/maroon tie at waist. Narrow silhouette and slit cascading on one side. Glossy and matte fabric in subtle layers.

Sunae Park Evans: First Lady of costume conservation

A woman wearing a yellow sweater and wearing purple gloves carefully manipulates the fabric of a beautiful white gown with delicate flower and sequin details. The gown is one-shoulder strap. It was worn by First Lady Michelle Obama. The dress is on a form.

“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.