Tuesday, February 28, 2017

American History Museum First Ladies Gowns

On my first high school visit to DC, we went to the American History Museum. It became one of my favorites. One of the more interesting exhibits - to me - was the First Ladies gowns. The six wives of Henry VIII display at the St. Augustine, Florida wax museum also piqued my fancy when I was in grade school. It must be something about the clothes that brings history to life for me. Since then, I've read about most of these characters that all had stories to tell. So as we make our way on our morning walks on the mall, we have lately been stopping by the various Smithsonian places if the crowds are small and there are no lines to get in. Today was the American history museum and we headed right to the First Ladies section. The museum is under renovation so there were a lot of exhibits closed or moved. It's always nice to be able to actually see the items without a lot of people in front of and behind you. The gowns of Martha Washington, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Dolly Madison are striking, as is anything Jackie Kennedy. The display gives you a real feel of the sizes and shapes of these historical figures. Included also are china displays of which Abigail Adams is my favorite. I'm glad this was an exhibit that was still open to see, but it really deserves an update. The first time I saw it the gowns were in chronological order and there were more of them. It had a big impact and I remember it to this day.

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