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The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection
     

The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection

by Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Amy Pastan
 

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Admire the nationally famous collection of first ladies' gowns and learn about the contributions made by the women who wore them

The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection is a beautifully illustrated book inspired by one of the most popular attractions at the Smithsonian: the first ladies exhibit at the National Museum of American History. This

Overview

Admire the nationally famous collection of first ladies' gowns and learn about the contributions made by the women who wore them

The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection is a beautifully illustrated book inspired by one of the most popular attractions at the Smithsonian: the first ladies exhibit at the National Museum of American History. This striking book showcases the treasures from first ladies throughout history, ranging from Martha Washington's silk dress and dressing mirror to Michelle Obama's 2009 inaugural gown and jewelry. These and many other unforgettable objects--including gowns, tableware, and invitations from beloved first ladies such as Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, Barbara Bush, Hilary Clinton, and more--tell the story of the first ladies as public and private figures. They illustrate how these women, thrust into an influential and visible role by happenstance of marriage, adapted themselves and the role of first lady by taking on responsibilities as campaigners, hostesses, and policy advocates.

The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection features many treasures not on view at the exhibit. Complete with an insider's look at the acquisition, conservation, and exhibition of the pieces as well as a timeline of all forty-six first ladies, this is a must-have for anyone fascinated by these incredible women and their roles in American culture and political life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Smithsonian First Ladies Collection, a slim but lavishly illustrated paperbound book, attempts to juggle that national obsession with dress and the weightier elements of a first lady's role, in both her husband's administration and the larger society... Still, it's the dresses, in the end, that make this book, just as the clothes have made the Smithsonian exhibit a must-see for more than a century. There's something about gazing at these gowns, captured in all their glory in full-color studio photographs, that's almost hypnotic." -Chicago Tribune

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781588344694
Publisher:
Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Pages:
104
Sales rank:
691,287
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

LISA KATHLEEN GRADDY is deputy chair of the Division of Political History at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. She is the curator of the first ladies exhibit and the collection of woman suffrage and women's political history. AMY PASTAN is a Washington, DC-based author, editor, and photo researcher. A former staff editor at the Smithsonian Institution, she currently writes and produces books for both adults and children. Among her recent titles is The Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia.

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