First Ladies Celebrated at Bush Museum

The First Ladies: Style of Influence exhibit at the President George W. Bush Museum and Library is open to the public until Oct. 1. (Museum courtesy photo)

An exhibit at the President George W. Bush Museum and Library focuses on the women behind the powerful former leaders of America.

“First Ladies: Style of Influence” examines how the role of the first lady has evolved, and how that position has become an advocate of diplomacy and other political initiatives. The exhibit features artifacts, including Abigail Adam’s 1797 letter to John Adams.

Now open to the public, the exhibit will run through Oct. 1.

“At a time when women’s stories are receiving the recognition they deserve, we are proud to present an exhibit that celebrates the influence and legacies of these remarkable women,” said Natalie Gonnella-Platts, deputy director of the Women’s Initiative at the Bush Institute. “We hope visitors walk away with a deeper appreciation of the unique role of first ladies and the way these women have changed our country and the world for the better.”

In honor of the exhibit, the museum hosted an early interactive event that included appearances by Bill Allman, the former White House curator who served eight presidents and first ladies; Lea Berman, a former White House social secretary; and Anita McBride, former chief of staff for Laura Bush.

Other artifacts available for viewing at the exhibit include Lou Hoover’s Cine-Kodak movie camera, Eleanor Roosevelt’s black evening gown, a gown worn by Laura Bush in 2008 and an apron given to Michelle Obama.

The Bush Museum and Library is located on the SMU Campus at 2943 SMU Boulevard. For more information on the exhibit, visit