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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Martha Washington's gown, 1780sMartha Washington's gown, 1780s

Made of salmon pink faille, Mrs. Washington's dress features a handpainted pattern of flowers and insects. It was first displayed in the original First Ladies Hall, which opened in the Arts and Industries Building in 1914. On loan for many years, the dress became part of the permanent collections in 1929 and remains on view today in the current first ladies exhibition.

See also: Clothing, First Ladies Collection, Popular Objects

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