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List of museums in Wales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This list of museums in Wales contains museums which are defined for this context as institutions (including nonprofit organizations, government entities, and private businesses) that collect and care for objects of cultural, artistic, scientific, or historical interest and make their collections or related exhibits available for public viewing. Also included are non-profit art galleries and university art galleries.

Museums that exist only in cyberspace (i.e. virtual museums) are not included. Those marked 'NMW' are part of the network of National Museum Wales.

To use the sortable table, click on the icons at the top of each column to sort that column in alphabetical order; click again for reverse alphabetical order.

Name Town/City County/Borough Region Type Summary
Beaumaris Castle Beaumaris Anglesey North Wales Historic house Medieval castle
Beaumaris Courthouse Beaumaris Anglesey North Wales Law enforcement website, also known as Llys Biwmares Beaumaris Court, dates to 1614
Beaumaris Gaol Beaumaris Anglesey North Wales Prison 19th-century prison
Canolfan Ucheldre Centre Holyhead Anglesey North Wales Art website, community arts centre with exhibit gallery for contemporary art and craft
Copper Kingdom Centre Amlwch Anglesey North Wales Local website, local history, copper and shipbuilding industry
Haulfre Stables Beaumaris Anglesey North Wales Transportation Open by appointment only, Victorian harness and saddlery, carts and carriages[1]
Holyhead Maritime Museum Holyhead Anglesey North Wales Maritime Located in an 1858 lifeboat station, maritime and social history
Llynnon Mill Holyhead Anglesey North Wales Mill 18th-century windmill
Menai Heritage Bridges Exhibition Menai Bridge Anglesey North Wales Technology website, history and construction of the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Britannia Bridge
Moelfre Seawatch Centre Moelfre Anglesey North Wales Maritime Also known as RNLI Gwylfan Seawatch Centre, includes a lifeboat, maritime artifacts, marine life and environment[2][3]
Oriel Ynys Môn Llangefni Anglesey North Wales Multiple Art, culture, social history of Anglesey
Penmaenmawr Museum Penmaenmawr Conwy North Wales Local website, local history museum and community archive for Penmaenmawr
Plas Newydd Llanfairpwllgwyngyll Anglesey North Wales Historic house Operated by the National Trust, 18th-century house with 1930s interior, military museum of the 1st Marquess of Anglesey, garden, arboretum
South Stack Lighthouse Holy Island Anglesey North Wales Maritime Historic lighthouse, engine room and exhibits
Stone Science Pentraeth Anglesey North Wales Natural history Dinosaurs, fossils, rocks, minerals[4]
Swtan Heritage Museum Rhydwyn Anglesey North Wales Historic house website, 16th-century Welsh cottage with a thatched roof, early 20th-century interior, exhibits of art and rural life
Tacla Taid Rhydwyn Anglesey North Wales Transportation website, also known as Anglesey Transport and Agriculture Museum, cars, motorbikes, commercial and farm vehicles and static engines
Abertillery & District Museum Abertillery Blaenau Gwent South Wales Multiple website, local history, period room and farm displays, mining, culture, Roman artifacts
Bedwellty House Tredegar Blaenau Gwent South Wales Historic house Early 19th-century ironmaster's residence and gardens
Blaina Heritage Action Group Museum Tredegar Blaenau Gwent South Wales Local website, local history
Brynmawr & District Museum Brynmawr Blaenau Gwent South Wales Local website, local history, Brynmawr Furniture pieces made during the Brynmawr Experiment
Tredegar Local History Museum Tredegar Blaenau Gwent South Wales Local Located in the town library, local history, industry[5]
Cefn Junction Signal Box Cefn Cribwr Bridgend County Borough South Wales Local website, located in a 1898 signal box, local history with an emphasis on rail and coal mining heritage,
Porthcawl Museum Porthcawl Bridgend County Borough South Wales Local website, local history
St John's House Bridgend Bridgend County Borough South Wales Local website, local history
Caerphilly Castle Caerphilly Caerphilly South Wales Historic house Medieval castle, replica siege engines, exhibits on other castles in Wales
Llancaiach Fawr Nelson Caerphilly South Wales Living 1645 period home, at the height of the English Civil War when King Charles I of England visited the house to persuade its owner not to change his allegiance
Winding House New Tredegar Caerphilly South Wales Local website, local history, coal mining, winding engine
Butetown History and Arts Centre Butetown Cardiff South Wales Multiple Local history, culture, art
Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Local Includes exhibits of local history, culture, located in the Wales Millennium Centre
Cardiff Castle Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Historic house Medieval castle and Victorian architecture Gothic revival mansion
Cardiff Story Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Local City's history, culture
Castell Coch Tongwynlais Cardiff South Wales Historic house Operated by Cadw, late 19th-century "fairy-tale" Victorian Gothic castle with lavish furnishings
Chapter Arts Centre Canton Cardiff South Wales Art Arts centre for international art, performance and film
Craft in the Bay Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Art Contemporary crafts gallery of the Makers Guild in Wales
Doctor Who Exhibition Centre Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Media Artifacts from the Doctor Who television series
Firing Line: Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Military Located at Cardiff Castle, history of the Welch Regiment
The Gate Roath Cardiff South Wales Art Arts centre with exhibit gallery
Insole Court Llandaff Cardiff South Wales Historic house Victorian mansion
National Museum Cardiff Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Multiple (NMW) Art, archaeology, natural history, dinosaurs, geology, decorative arts
Norwegian Church Arts Centre Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Art Arts centre with gallery
Pierhead Cardiff Cardiff South Wales History Late 19th-century building with Welsh history exhibits
St Fagans National History Museum St Fagans Cardiff South Wales Open air (NMW) Over forty buildings including a Celtic village, Elizabethan manor house, chapel, medieval church, schoolhouse, tollbooth, farm,
Techniquest Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Science Hands-on science exhibits
Third Floor Gallery Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Photography Photography gallery of national and international contemporary photography
Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff Cardiff South Wales Art Performing arts centre with exhibit gallery
Bro Aman Heritage Room Ammanford Carmarthenshire South Wales Local history Located in the Ammanford Town Library[6]
Carmarthenshire County Museum Carmarthen Carmarthenshire South Wales Multiple Local history, culture, art gallery, furniture, decorative arts, 19th-century schoolroom, the inside of a Carmarthenshire farmhouse a clogmaker's workshop
Dolaucothi Gold Mines Pumsaint Carmarthenshire South Wales Mining Operated by the National Trust, Roman surface and deep gold mines
Dylan Thomas Boathouse Laugharne Carmarthenshire South Wales Historic house Final home of poet Dylan Thomas
Kidwelly Industrial Museum Kidwelly Carmarthenshire South Wales Industry Tinplate industry buildings and equipment
Museum of Speed Pendine Carmarthenshire South Wales Automotive Use of Pendine Sands for land speed record attempts
National Coracle Centre Cenarth Carmarthenshire South Wales Maritime Collection of coracles
National Wool Museum Llandysul Carmarthenshire South Wales Industry (NMW) Woolen mill, textiles gallery
Newton House Llandeilo Carmarthenshire South Wales Historic house Operated by the National Trust, 1912 period house in extensive park, nearby Dinefwr Castle ruins
Oriel Myrddin Gallery Carmarthen Carmarthenshire South Wales Art website, contemporary art gallery
Parc Howard Museum Llanelli Carmarthenshire South Wales Multiple Local pottery, art, decorative arts, local history
West Wales Museum of Childhood Llangeler Carmarthenshire South Wales Toy Toys, dolls, model trains, model cars, teddy bears, toy soldiers, tin toys, costumes, pinball machines, games, period schoolroom, household items
Aberystwyth Arts Centre Aberystwyth Ceredigion Mid Wales Art Part of Aberystwyth University, features exhibit galleries for art, ceramics
Ceredigion Museum Aberystwyth Ceredigion Mid Wales Local Local history, archaeology, natural history, Welsh furniture, costumes, farming and agriculture items
Internal Fire – Museum of Power Tanygroes Ceredigion Mid Wales Technology Internal combustion and steam engines
Lampeter Museum Lampeter Ceredigion Mid Wales Local Local history exhibits in the town library
Llanerchaeron Ciliau Aeron Ceredigion Mid Wales Historic house Operated by the National Trust, 18th-century Welsh minor gentry estate with dairy, laundry, brewery, salting house, walled kitchen gardens, organic farm
Llanon Cottage Llanon Ceredigion Mid Wales Historic house website, Tudor cottage with original straw rope underthatch
Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine Ponterwyd Ceredigion Mid Wales Mining website, 18th-century silver mine, buildings, equipment, tramways
New Quay Heritage Centre New Quay Ceredigion Mid Wales Local website, local history exhibits
School of Art Gallery and Museum at Aberystwyth University Aberystwyth Ceredigion Mid Wales Art website, fine art, photography, prints and drawings, crafts and decorative art
Strata Florida Abbey Pontrhydfendigaid Ceredigion Mid Wales Archaeology Remains of a medieval Cisterian abbey
Tregaron Kite Centre and Museum Tregaron Ceredigion Mid Wales Natural history website, kites and other area birds, Tregaron Bog, local history, Victorian schoolroom
Welsh Quilt Centre Lampeter Ceredigion Mid Wales Art website, quilts and textile exhibits
Aberconwy House Conwy Conwy North Wales Historic house website, operated by the National Trust, medieval merchant's house with rooms from different periods
Conwy Castle Conwy Conwy North Wales Historic house Medieval castle
Conwy Mussel Museum Conwy Conwy North Wales Maritime website, pearl fishing
Conwy Suspension Bridge Conwy Conwy North Wales Technology Operated by the National Trust, 1826 version of the Menai Suspension Bridge, now a footbridge, 1890s period toll house
Conwy Valley Railway Museum Betws-y-Coed Conwy North Wales Railway Railway equipment, miniature and model railways, memorabilia
Home Front Experience Llandudno Conwy North Wales Living website, life in Britain during World War II
Llandudno Museum Llandudno Conwy North Wales Local website, local history, culture, copper mining, Welsh kitchen, art
Mostyn Llandudno Conwy North Wales Art Contemporary art gallery
New York Cottages Penmaenmawr Conwy North Wales Historic house website, 1840s house for local quarry workers, local history, industry
Plas Mawr Conwy Conwy North Wales Historic house 16th-century Elizabethan town house
Royal Cambrian Academy of Art Conwy Conwy North Wales Art Hosts 8-10 exhibits a year
Sir Henry Jones Museum Llangernyw Conwy North Wales Historic house website, Victorian childhood home of philosopher and academic Sir Henry Jones
Smallest House in Great Britain Conwy Conwy North Wales Historic house 16th-century house measuring 3.05 metre by 1.8 metre (10 feet by 6 feet)
Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant Penmachno Conwy North Wales Historic house Operated by the National Trust, 16th-century stone-built upland farmhouse, birthplace of Bishop William Morgan, the first translator of the Bible into Welsh, collection of bibles
Bodelwyddan Castle Bodelwyddan Denbighshire North Wales Multiple Historic house with Victorian period rooms, art exhibits from the National Portrait Gallery, gardens, parkland
Llangollen Motor Museum Llangollen Denbighshire North Wales Automobile Cars, motorcycles, memorabilia and artifacts
Llangollen Museum Llangollen Denbighshire North Wales Local website, local history, culture
Nantclwyd y Dre Ruthin Denbighshire North Wales Historic house 15th-century timbered house with rooms from different periods up to the 1940s
Plas Newydd Llangollen Denbighshire North Wales Historic house Late 18th-century Gothic cottage house
Rhyl Miniature Railway Rhyl Denbighshire North Wales Railway Miniature railway and museum
Rhyl Museum Rhyl Denbighshire North Wales Local website, local history, culture
Ruthin Gaol Ruthin Denbighshire North Wales Prison 19th-century Victorian prison dating back to the 17th century
Ruthin Craft Centre Ruthin Denbighshire North Wales Art Contemporary crafts centre with exhibit galleries, artist studios, retail gallery, education and residency workshops
Wireless in Wales Museum Denbigh Denbighshire North Wales Wireless radio website, collection of radios and information, displaying some very early and rare sets dating from the 1920s to the 1960s
Greenfield Valley Heritage Park Holywell Flintshire North Wales Industry Open air park with a farm museum, former factories for making cotton, brass items, copper sheets, wire
Mold Library, Museum and Gallery Mold Flintshire North Wales Local website, local history, author Daniel Owen
St Winefride's Well Holywell Flintshire North Wales Religious Shrine with museum about its history
Bocs Caernarfon Gwynedd North Wales Art website, Creative Industries Centre for young artists, art gallery
Cae'r Gors Rhosgadfan Gwynedd North Wales Literature website, restored birthplace of author Kate Roberts
Caernarfon Airworld Museum Caernarfon Gwynedd North Wales Aviation website, collection of retired aircraft, history of mountain rescue, located at Caernarfon Airport, the airfield of the former RAF Llandwrog
Caernarfon Castle Caernarfon Gwynedd North Wales Historic house Medieval fortress castle, site of investiture of the Prince of Wales, houses the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum
Lasynys Fawr Harlech Gwynedd North Wales Historical house website, restored 15th-century home of poet Ellis Wynne
Llechwedd Slate Caverns Blaenau Ffestiniog Gwynedd North Wales Mining Slate mine quarry and tram
Lloyd George Museum Llanystumdwy Gwynedd North Wales Historic house Late 19th-century boyhood home of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Tywyn Gwynedd North Wales Railway Locomotives and artifacts from over 80 British narrow gauge railways
National Slate Museum Llanberis Gwynedd North Wales Industry (NMW) Formerly the Welsh Slate Museum, former slate quarry
Oriel Pendeitsh Caernarfon Gwynedd North Wales Art website[permanent dead link], exhibition space
Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Pwllheli Gwynedd North Wales Art website, art gallery
Penrhyn Castle Llandygai Gwynedd North Wales Historic house 19th-century fantasy castle, operated by the National Trust
Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum Llandygai Gwynedd North Wales Railway Industrial railway locomotives
Porthmadog Maritime Museum Porthmadog Gwynedd North Wales Maritime website, schooners built in the town and the men who sailed in them
Quaker Heritage Centre Dolgellau Gwynedd North Wales Religious History of the local Quaker community that later emigrated to Pennsylvania[7]
Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum Caernarfon Gwynedd North Wales Military Located at Caernarfon Castle, regimental uniforms, weapons, memorabilia
Segontium Caernarfon Gwynedd North Wales Archaeology Excavated Roman fort and visitor center with artifacts
Sygun Copper Mine Beddgelert Gwynedd North Wales Mining Underground tours of the Victorian copper mine
Storiel Bangor Gwynedd North Wales Multiple website, local history, art, culture, Welsh furniture, costumes, archaeology, formerly the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery
Tŷ Siamas Dolgellau Gwynedd North Wales Music National centre for Welsh folk music
Cyfarthfa Castle Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tydfil South Wales Multiple Local and social history, art, decorative arts
Joseph Parry's Cottage Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tydfil South Wales Historic house website, 1840s period ironworker's cottage, birthplace of composer Joseph Parry
Abergavenny Museum Abergavenny Monmouthshire South Wales Local Local history, culture, period saddlers shop, Victorian farmhouse kitchen, 1930s grocery shop, changing exhibits of art, history, culture
Caldicot Castle Caldicot Monmouthshire South Wales Historic house Medieval castle with Victorian furnishings, local history artifacts
Chepstow Museum Chepstow Monmouthshire South Wales Local Local history
Monmouth Museum Monmouth Monmouthshire South Wales Biographical Includes the former Nelson Museum about Admiral Horatio Nelson, local history,
Monmouth Regimental Museum Monmouth Monmouthshire South Wales Military History of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers
Priory Church of St Mary Abergavenny Monmouthshire South Wales Religious Exhibits in the tithe barn about the priory, 24 foot tapestry of town history
Usk Rural Life Museum Usk Monmouthshire South Wales Agriculture website, farm tools, equipment, scale model horse-drawn vehicles, corn dollies, period household and trade displays
Cefn Coed Colliery Museum Crynant Neath Port Talbot South Wales Mining Former coal mine with buildings, equipment, tram
Margam Stones Museum Margam Neath Port Talbot South Wales Religious Operated by Cadw, inscribed pre- Romanesque, Roman and Celtic stones and crosses
South Wales Miners' Museum Cymmer Neath Port Talbot South Wales Mining Former coal mine with buildings, equipment, miner's cottage, stable, blacksmith
The Baked Bean Museum of Excellence Port Talbot Neath Port Talbot South Wales Novelty museum website, collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and oddities all related to baked beans.[8]
Welsh Museum of Fire Skewen Neath Port Talbot South Wales Firefighting website, fire engines, equipment, memorabilia, open by appointment
Fourteen Locks Canal and Heritage Centre Newport Newport South Wales Transportation Heritage of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
National Roman Legion Museum Caerleon Newport South Wales Archaeology (NMW) Artifacts and excavations from the Roman legion fortress and settlement and other Roman sites in Wales
Isca Augusta amphitheatre, barracks, fortress walls and Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths Caerleon Newport South Wales Archaeology Artifacts and excavations from the Roman legion fortress and settlement, operated by Cadw
Newport Museum and Art Gallery Newport Newport South Wales Multiple Local history, art gallery, local Roman history and archaeology, natural history, social history, industry
Newport Ship Newport Newport South Wales Maritime 15th-century sailing vessel undergoing restoration, viewed on open days
Newport Transporter Bridge Visitor Centre Newport Newport South Wales Transportation History and construction of the bridge and other transporter bridges
Riverfront Arts Centre Newport Newport South Wales Art Arts centre with gallery
Tredegar House Newport Newport South Wales Historic house 17th-century Charles II country house mansion, operated by the National Trust
Carew Castle Carew Pembrokeshire South Wales Multiple Medieval castle remains and 19th-century tidal grinding mill
Carew Cheriton Control Tower Carew Pembrokeshire South Wales Military History of RAF Carew Cheriton including the World War II RAF control tower (Watch Office), Avro Anson aircraft and air raid shelter[9]
Castell Henllys Crymych Pembrokeshire South Wales Open air Reconstructed Iron Age fort
Fleets to Flying Boat Centre Pembroke Dock Pembrokeshire South Wales Multiple website, Sunderland flying boats, area WWII history
Haverfordwest Town Museum Haverfordwest Pembrokeshire South Wales Local Local history, industry, artifacts from Haverfordwest Castle
Milford Haven Museum Milford Haven Pembrokeshire South Wales Local Local history, maritime history, industries, railroads
Narberth Museum Narberth Pembrokeshire South Wales Local website, local history, culture
Oriel y Parc St Davids Pembrokeshire South Wales Art website, art gallery, focus is the landscapes of Pembrokeshire, houses the visitor centre for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Pembrock Dock Heritage Centre Pembroke Dock Pembrokeshire South Wales Multiple website, located in a Martello tower, local history, military and maritime history
Pembrokeshire Motor Museum Simpson Cross Pembrokeshire South Wales Automobile Vintage cars, currently closed
Penrhos Cottage Maenclochog Pembrokeshire South Wales Historic house Open by appointment, tiny early 19th-century cottage
Picton Castle Haverfordwest Pembrokeshire South Wales Historic house Medieval castle, art gallery, gardens
Scolton Manor Haverfordwest Pembrokeshire South Wales Multiple Victorian manor house with period rooms, exhibits on local history, agriculture, rural life, railways, industry, science
Techniquest Narberth Pembrokeshire South Wales Science
Tenby Museum and Art Gallery Tenby Pembrokeshire South Wales Multiple Local history, art, natural history, geology, archaeology, maritime heritage
Tudor Merchant's House Tenby Pembrokeshire South Wales Historic house Operated by the National Trust, late 15th-century Tudor period house
Abbey-Cwm-Hir Hall Nr. Llandrindod Wells Powys Mid Wales Historic house 19th-century neo-Elizabethan country house, gardens
Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture Berriew Powys Mid Wales Art website, works by Andrew Logan
Brecon Cathedral Heritage Centre Brecon Powys Mid Wales Religious Located in a 17th-century tithe barn, history of the cathedral
Brecknock Museum & Art Gallery Brecon Powys Mid Wales Multiple Local history, culture, archaeology, rural life, art gallery
Centre for Alternative Technology Machynlleth Powys Mid Wales Science Exhibits about alternative technologies, sustainable living, the environment
Howell Harris Museum Aberhonddu Powys Mid Wales Religious Life of 18th-century Methodist leader Howell Harris, known as Trefeca
Judge's Lodging Museum Presteigne Powys Mid Wales Historic house website, 1870s period house with restored judge's apartments, servants’ quarters and courtroom
Llanidloes Museum Llanidloes Powys Mid Wales Local website, local history, industry, Victorian period rooms, natural history
Mid Wales Arts Centre Caersws Powys Mid Wales Art website, includes collection of works by Stefan Knapp
Minerva Arts Centre Llanidloes Powys Mid Wales Art website, exhibits of quilts and textiles by the Quilt Association
MOMA, Wales Machynlleth Powys Mid Wales Art Contemporary art exhibits
National Cycle Museum Llandrindod Wells Powys Mid Wales Transportation Features over 260 bicycles
Newtown Textile Museum Newtown Powys Mid Wales Industry website, typical early 19th-century hand weaving shop, open on special occasions
The Old Bell Museum Montgomery Powys Mid Wales Local history Housed in a 16th-century inn
Oriel Davies Gallery Newtown Powys Mid Wales Art website, contemporary art and craft
Owain Glyndwr Centre Machynlleth Powys Mid Wales Biographical History of Owain Glyndŵr, 14th-century Welsh ruler and the last native Welsh person to hold the title Prince of Wales
Powis Castle Welshpool Powys Mid Wales Historic house Operated by the National Trust, castle with paintings, sculpture, furniture, tapestries, museum of 18th-century artifacts from India, gardens
Powysland Museum Welshpool Powys Mid Wales Local website, local history, culture, farming, archaeology, military
Radnorshire Museum Llandrindod Wells Powys Mid Wales Local website, local history, archaeology, natural history including fossils, social history of the former county of Radnorshire
Rhayader Museum & Gallery Rhayader Powys Mid Wales Local website
Robert Owen Museum Newtown Powys Mid Wales Biographical website, social reformer Robert Owen
Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh Brecon Powys Mid Wales Military Uniforms, weapons, medal and artifacts of the South Wales Borderers (24th Foot) and the Welch Regiment (41st/69th Foot)
Thomas Shop Museum Penybont Powys Mid Wales History website, 1805 period general store
Tretower Court Crickhowell Powys Mid Wales Historic house Medieval unfurnished fortified manor house
W H Smith Museum Newtown Powys Mid Wales History Original location of the W H Smith chain of booksellers, period shop[10]
Nantgarw Chinaworks Museum Nantgarw Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales Industry History of Nantgarw Pottery
Rhondda Heritage Park Trehafod Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales Mining Former coal mine
1940s Swansea Bay Swansea Swansea South Wales Military website, military and civilian homefront life in Swansea during World War II
Dylan Thomas Centre Swansea Swansea South Wales Biographical Exhibits on author Dylan Thomas
Egypt Centre Museum of Egyptian Antiquities Swansea Swansea South Wales Archaeology Part of Swansea University, Ancient Egyptian artifacts[11]
Gower Heritage Centre Parkmill Swansea South Wales Open air Includes 12th-century water powered corn and saw mill, restored woolen mill, outdoor exhibits of antique farming and cultivation, blacksmith, potter, farm
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery Swansea Swansea South Wales Art Includes work by Old Masters, contemporary art, porcelain, Swansea china
Mission Gallery Swansea Swansea South Wales Art Exhibitions of visual arts, applied arts and craft
National Waterfront Museum Swansea Swansea South Wales Multiple (NMW) Welsh industrial and maritime heritage, social history, technology, science
Swansea Museum Swansea Swansea South Wales Multiple Three main locations with exhibits on city history and culture, boats and maritime artifacts, street trams and memorabilia
Taliesin Arts Centre Swansea Swansea South Wales Art Part of Swansea University, includes Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery
Big Pit National Coal Museum Blaenafon Torfaen South Wales Industry (NMW), former coal mine, underground tour, equipment, buildings
Blaenavon Ironworks Blaenafon Torfaen South Wales Industry Former iron works, remains of five early blast furnaces, restored late 18th-century workers' housing at Stack Square
Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre Cwmbran Torfaen South Wales Art Exhibitions of applied and visual art
Pontypool Museum Pontypool Torfaen South Wales Local Local history, art, domestic life, culture, Japanware and decorative arts
Art Central Barry Vale of Glamorgan South Wales Art website, community art gallery in the old town hall
Cosmeston Medieval Village Lavernock Vale of Glamorgan South Wales Living Recreated 14th-century peasant village
Cowbridge Museum Cowbridge Vale of Glamorgan South Wales Prison information, located in Cowbridge Town Hall, early 19th-century prison, town hall and museum of local history
Fonmon Castle Rhoose Vale of Glamorgan South Wales Historic house Medieval castle home and gardens
Nash Point Lighthouse Nash Point Vale of Glamorgan South Wales Maritime Lighthouse tours
Oriel Washington Gallery Penarth Vale of Glamorgan South Wales Art website, contemporary art gallery
Penarth Pier Pavilion Penarth Vale of Glamorgan South Wales Art Hosts exhibits of art, photography and crafts
Turner House Gallery Penarth Vale of Glamorgan South Wales Art Exhibition space for Ffotogallery, the national photography development agency for Wales, exhibits of photography, video, digital media
Bersham Colliery Mining Museum Rhostyllen Wrexham North Wales Industry website, former coalfield with headgear, equipment, miner family life
Chirk Castle Bersham Wrexham North Wales Historic house Operated by the National Trust, medieval fortress with state rooms, towers and dungeons, gardens
Erddig Wrexham Wrexham North Wales Historic house Operated by the National Trust, early 18th-century country house reflecting the upstairs downstairs life of a gentry family over 250 years, outbuildings, garden, landscape park
Minera Lead Mines Minera Wrexham North Wales Industry Former lead mine, equipment, miner family life
Nant Mill Visitor Centre Wrexham Wrexham North Wales Natural history Located in a former corn mill in Nant Mill Country Park
Oriel Wrecsam Wrexham Wrexham North Wales Art website, formerly the Wrexham Arts Centre
Techniquest Glyndŵr Wrexham Wrexham North Wales Science Hands-on science exhibits
Wrexham County Borough Museum Wrexham Wrexham North Wales Local website, local history, culture

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  • Style and Influence: First Ladies' Fashions
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>> David Ferriero: Good evening. I'm David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. It's a pleasure to welcome you this evening to William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. for tonight's discussion, "Style and Influence: First Ladies' Fashions." Whether you're here in the theater or watching on C-SPAN or YouTube, we're happy you can join us this evening. Tonight we're here to learn about fashion and history; particularly as exemplified by American First Ladies. We have an impressive roster of guests starting with our moderator Tim Gunn along with Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Chief Curator of Political History and the First Ladies Collection at the National Museum of American History, and designer Tracy Reese. I want to extend our thanks to our partner for tonight's program, the White House Historical Association, and the Association's new President, Stewart McClaurin. [Applause] Before we begin tonight, I'd like to tell you about two other programs coming up soon in this theater. On Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00p.m. in a program called "Courtroom Drama: Covering the Supreme Court," a panel of Supreme Court reporters will discuss what it's like to cover the news about the highest court in the land. And on Thursday, October 23, at 7:00, Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer and Frank Bond will talk about Lincoln and the power of the press. To learn more about these and all of our programs, consult our program our monthly catalog calendar of events. There are copies in the lobby as well as signup sheets where you can receive it in the regular mail or by email. You'll also find brochures about other National Archives programs and activities. Another way to get more involved in the National Archives is to become a member of the Foundation for The National Archives, which supports all of our work in education and outreach. There are applications for membership also in the lobby. And a little secret that I keep sharing with everyone, no one has ever been turned down for membership in the foundation. [Laughter] We have many members of the foundation with us tonight. So welcome. A special welcome to you. I hope you had a chance to visit our special exhibit upstairs, "Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures." If you haven't, please come back and see it. "Making Their Mark" explores the many ways signatures have made a difference in American history. The items on display show us not only the actions of legendary individuals like Thomas Jefferson, John Wilkes Booth and Katharine Hepburn but also of ordinary people who exercise their rights to express their opinion or petition their government. One component of the exhibit looks at signature styles. Here you'll see Eisenhower's Ike jacket, F.D.R.'s cigarette holder, and appropriately for tonight's discussion, a pillbox hat worn by Jackie Kennedy and the dress Michelle Obama wore the night her husband was elected President in 2008. The National Archives through its Presidential Libraries is the caretaker of a wealth of material about and from First Ladies since Lou Henry Hoover. In addition to their many papers, we have personal items that tell us about the women and their times. We've got hats that belong to Bess Truman, gowns, Eleanor Roosevelt's wallet, home movies shot by Lady Bird Johnson, and more shoes than you could possibly imagine. I've threatened to have a shoe exhibit, actually. Those who have filled the role First Lady have had to meet personal and public demands. Each has brought her own passions and personality to the job. And we're fortunate to have their legacies documented in our Presidential Libraries. To get the conversation started, I'll turn you over now to Stewart McLaurin, the President of the White House Historical Association. Before coming to the association, he served as Executive Vice President for the American Village Citizenship Trust which focused on teaching America's legacy of liberty and promoting public regard for the Constitution and America's Charters of Freedom. He's also served as Vice President of Mount Vernon for the Fred W. Smith National Library, Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, Chief of Staff to President John J. DeGioia at Georgetown University, Executive Vice President of Education for the Motion Picture Association of America, Manager of Public Affairs for the Memorial Cancer Center and Chief of Staff to American Red Cross President Elizabeth Dole. How on earth did you do so many things? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my friend, Stewart McClaurin. >> Stewart McClaurin: Thank you very much. You all are in for a special treat tonight. And on behalf of the White House Historical Association, it's our honor to partner with our good friend, the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero and his colleagues here at the National Archives who do such a tremendous job as the caretakers of some of America's greatest treasures. I'd also like to acknowledge with us here tonight very special guest Lynda Johnson Robb and her daughter Lucinda Robb, the daughter and granddaughter of one of America's great First Ladies. It's wonderful to have you here tonight. [Applause] Also, Angela Reed, and Bill Allman are both here with us tonight. It's a pleasure and privilege to work with them almost on a daily basis, Ann Stock, who is on our White House Historical Association Board of Directors is also here tonight. The White House Historical Association was started by Mrs. Kennedy in 1961. As you know, Mrs. Kennedy was one of the most trendsetting and innovative First Ladies of the modern era. It was her vision, with the White House Historical Association, to have an organization that would promote the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the White House for generations to come. And that's our job. We worked very closely with our colleagues we, the White House, National Archives, and others to promote the White House through education programs, books that we publish, but we also are involved in the historic preservation of the State Floor of the White House and the acquisition of furnishings and art for the White House collection. We're very proud to be the private partner of the White House to do this. All of our funds are private funds. And those principally come from something that we're you probably know us best for, the White House Christmas ornament produced every year. We actually have this year's ornament on display out in the lobby. And that honors President Harding. You may think, President Harding? What in the world would we talk about? There's a wonderful story and background behind this twoornament set of two trains. I'll leave you to figure out why two trains and President Harding. We are also working with the National Archives for an upcoming program in December on holidays in the White House. And that will be just as fascinating and wonderful as tonight's program. I encourage you to go to our website,, to learn more about the upcoming program on Holidays at the White House as well as the other events and things that we are involved with to support this wonderful work on behalf of the White House history and to buy your 2014 White House Christmas ornament. I have to thank my colleague, Leslie Jones, who has been on point for us to bring this program together; have a wonderful team of colleagues at the White House Historical Association, and I'd like to thank all of them who are here tonight for all that they do. You are in for a treat tonight. I encourage you to listen and enjoy and come back for other programs that we sponsor with our friends at the National Archives in the future. It's really an honor for us to be part of this wonderful gathering tonight. Thank you very much. [Applause] >> Tim Gunn: Hello, everyone. How are you? Thank you for being here. [Applause] We're going to have a rousing evening, I hope. It's an interesting one and an interesting discussion. I have to say, the whole topic of what the First Lady wears we know is a frequent topic of discussion. And we have Lisa Kathleen Graddy here who wrote the book on the First Ladies Collection here at the Smithsonian. And Lisa Kathleen, I would speculate that you run the most visited department at the Smithsonian. >> We are told it is the most visited exhibition and at this point the oldest, 100 years old this year. >> Tim Gunn: How fantastic. That is wonderful. I want to ask all of our panelists: Why do we care so much about what the First Lady wears? What is the impact? What is the legacy? What is the message that the First Lady sends? >> I think she's a symbolic figure. She's in a way a little bit like the queen of America. And people look at her to see what kind of a female image she's conveying. >> And I think we also see her as the mother of our country for the time that she's in office. And I think that people definitely want to emulate her and seek guidance from how she is conducting herself and projecting herself to the world. >> Tim Gunn: And I want to remind everyone, we're going to have a question and answer session at the end of this. So if you have questions of any of these and you think you might forget, write them down. And we have Dolley Madison who presided over the first Inaugural Ball in 1809. What did we think about Dolley Madison and the impact that she had? [Laughter] It's taking us back. >> Way back. >> Tim Gunn: Way back. >> Dolley Madison was criticized, thought that she was too fancy and too much into fashion and too aristocratic, not democratic enough. >> Not democratic enough. But you could come to Dolley Madison's parties as long as you were appropriately dressed, so very democratic. >> But they did that at Versailles. [Laughter] >> When you think that Dolley grew up as a Quaker, when she married James Madison, she broke from the background of a woman who was demurely dressed, suddenly had this ability to really just blazen out in amazing clothes. She's very fond of reds and yellows and turbines. Maybe a nod to that Quaker cap. But she's able to fulfill this dazzling vision of what you have to wonder if this is what she longed to look like as a little girl. >> Yeah. >> Tim Gunn: And there are some of Dolley Madison's dazzling red. So Lisa, when one had to be appropriately dressed to visit the White House, what did that mean at that time? >> A lot of controversy was whether you could wear boots, boots or shoes. If you're properly shod, jacketed, can present a respectable appearance, you just need an introduction to go to the Madison's White House. If you know somebody or you have a card of introduction, you can be admitted to Mrs. Madison's crushes. They literally are called squeezes or crushes. And people crowd into her drawing room. She really begins political entertaining. >> Tim Gunn: Do we believe there's anything significant about the construction of clothing from this era that contributes to the overall impact that it has and the effect that it has on us either emotionally or psychologically? >> It's called the empire style because it's very high-waisted. It's worn essentially without a corset. More like a kind of proto brassiere. So it's completely different than 18th Century aristocratic dress with the coneshaped corset and big hoops. It's very body conscious, kind of liberating. At the time a lot of people in America and in France thought of it as being, you know, a republican style, not an aristocratic style. It evoked the idea of ancient Greece and Rome. >> Tim Gunn: And compared to what preceded it, was almost monastic. >> Not always. You could have the nice plain white ones, but they had some glamorous ones. If you have a red empire lowcut gown, a wonderful turbine and jewelry and everything, you could look fantastic. She was lucky for a Quaker that she got [Laughter] Any kind of fantastic fashion. >> I'm amazed there was so much bosom exposed at the time, especially for a Quaker and for a First Lady. But that was the style. >> Tim Gunn: That was definitely the style. [Laughter] So this is an example of a gown that Mrs. Madison would have worn in her youth. This goes back to what you were describing, Valerie. >> Except much plainer. The Quaker look was gray and noncolor. It stood for kind of standout of society and all of its competition, that fashion was frivolous and external. A lot of that goes through American history, not just the Quakers, the whole puritan sense that fashion is unnecessary and elitist. So to be a Quaker was to make that point very clearly. >> Dolley was impoverished later in life. She wears clothes again and again. She makes them. This is one of the collections that had been remade over time either by Dolley herself or by a lot of dresses were made. It was popular to wear Great Grandmama's clothing, say to a fancy dress party or as a remembrance. So a lot of our clothes say the skirt will have been styled to a slightly different silhouette or the bodice changed slightly. >> Tim Gunn: We like recycling. >> Before their time. >> Tim Gunn: Exactly. Here we have Julia Tyler. She was, indeed a great beauty. She only held the role for eight months. She was often seen wearing white satin. And what are our thoughts about Julia Tyler and what significance could she have had? >> In eight months not much. >> Wasn't she one of the youngest First Ladies as well? >> She was. She was younger than some of his children. And there was sort of a whirlwind romance. She was very conscious of herself. She styled herself as the rose of Long Island and had had to be taken off to Europe by her family because she supposedly posed for an advertisement which was scandalous at the time. But she came back with a taste for Europeans. So part of this look, this white satin, is that she wanted to sit on a dais and have people presented to her as if at court. So she had a reasonable impact on White House entertaining in a short amount of time. It might not have been the impact she wanted. The White House changes from sort of a more egalitarian or republican to a much more high style and exclusive. She was one of the exclusives that swung back after they left. >> Tim Gunn: Lisa, how do you verify or corroborate these legends and tales? Is it difficult? >> Some of them are difficult. It's requested can you find a letter. Is there correspondence, a diary. Dolley's red dress, the story is it was made out of the red velvet drapes that she saved from the burning of the White House. That's a wonderful story, but it's not true. It should be true. >> Tim Gunn: It's not true? Too bad. It's a great story. >> The Historical Museum owns the dress. And the DAR in DC has a piece of the curtain, what is supposed to be the red velvet curtain. For an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery the two pieces met. Because we had just gotten a really wonderful new microscope in the conservation lab, they came to our lab and they both met under microscope to see if we could prove that this was the same fabric. >> Did the fabric survive? >> It's not the same fabric. If this was curtain, the dress was not made of this curtain. What we don't know is if that was really curtain. So now we have a second mystery to solve. Was that piece that they have really a piece of the red velvet curtain? >> Tim Gunn: Another letter to be found somewhere. >> Somewhere. >> Tim Gunn: We'll go back to Julia Tyler. And on to Sarah Polk. We are now up to 1845 to 1849. How is dressing in this particular time different? How has it evolved? >> This is what you think of as an early Victorian style. It's very much more conventionally feminine. You're back to the corset, back to a full skirt over petticoats. Although she's wearing a dark dress, you do see much more distinction between men in black suits and women in sort of lighter and more delicate colors and fabrics. So you get real gender distinction at this period. Part of the idea of women should have their domestic role at home and be really sort of different creatures than men. >> Tim Gunn: And what about the relationship between fashion in America and Europe? Were we a nation of borrowers then? >> Yes. Absolutely. Paris was already and had been for more than 100 years the center of women's fashion. And American fashion magazines had images which were based on those from French fashion magazines. But at the same time, you have this drumbeat of complaints of how can the daughters of puritan ancestors wear clothing designed in the wicked city of Paris. So then you have American magazines and dressmakers saying they're going to Americanize the fashion. And that often means making them a little bit simpler or more modest or it could just be boiler plate, could be the similar dress. >> Tim Gunn: So were most of these clothes actually made here? >> Most would be made here. >> Tim Gunn: They were not brought over from Europe. Prohibitively expensive? >> If you were wealthy. But most things were made here. You might have fabric shipped over and have dressmakers make it here >> I didn't realize, too, that Victorian fashion wanted to make women look smaller. So a lot of the proportions were larger to make women look more petite. I thought that was interesting. >> For waist and extremities, the hands and feet should be little. But the hips full, bosom full. Shoulders full. By the 1860's, 70's, you wanted to have plump, voluptuous shoulders and a big, big butt. [Laughter] By the 1880's, one English writer said, "No man would stay long with a woman whose skinny buttocks he could hold in the palm of one hand." [Laughter] >> Sounds like today. [Laughter] >> Tim Gunn: And this gown says all of that. It really does. >> Can you imagine Kim Kardashian in that? >> Tim Gunn: I prefer not to. [Laughter] >> With the first wonder bra pushing it up and up. >> Tim Gunn: And what about accessories? What are these? [Laughter] >> That's really cool. That says Tunisian silk, right? I think that's so amazing. The striped one? >> Tim Gunn: It is. Yes. With a tassel. >> I love that. I want that. >> Tim Gunn: Sarah Polk purchased these in Paris. And did this become popular? Were people suddenly wearing turbines everywhere? >> They went in and out. They came back in the 1840's. >> Tim Gunn: Was this before hairdressers were popular? [Laughter] I ask with some sincerity. >> It's supposed to be a glamorous exotic look. >> It is exotic. >> Tim Gunn: And here we have Harriet Lane. She was the niece of James Buchanan. Is that correct? >> The niece. She was considered to be an absolute beauty, elegant member of the White House. She actually entertained the Prince of Wales and rather scandalously had gentlemen giving her presents and her uncle had to she used to hide things because she knew her uncle wouldn't let her accept some of the jewelry and other things that gentlemen were trying to give her. >> Tim Gunn: And as the niece of the President, was she considered a First Lady in standing? >> She was the First Lady, served as First Lady and is one of the First Ladies to be called First Lady. >> Tim Gunn: That's interesting. >> By the press, in magazines. Dolley Madison is referred to as the First Lady of our land in a eulogy but this is the First Lady in media, really. And she did. Unmarried his entire life, she lived with him most of their life and served as hostesses and therefore became First Lady. >> Tim Gunn: Do you think they called upon the term First Lady, the press, because it was awkward and she's not a wife and she's not a consort? >> I like consort. She would have enjoyed that. [Laughter] I think partly it's too it's to have something to call you, since you don't have a title. Martha Washington was Lady Washington, but Lady Buchanan sounds odd. It's also to promote the idea that this is the First Lady in the land, the one setting fashion and who you are following; the consort, really, of the President. So in diplomatic visits, for instance, this is the woman entertaining the Prince of Wales. You need something to give her a little more stature than Miss Buchanan. >> Tim Gunn: And seems to have had incredible style. >> I love this dress. It drove the photographers crazy. This is a Worth gown. It is the deepest midnight blue I've ever seen velvet; the white satin and then the silver. And it did make our photographers insane to try and light and shoot. It is one of my favorite pieces in the collection. I would try it on if you secretly try them on. This would be the piece. >> Not allowed. >> No. >> Tim Gunn: Would you ever permit that? [Laughter] >> We fantasize but we don't carry it out. >> Tim Gunn: We're moving on to Mary Todd Lincoln. This is quite a staggeringlooking gown. >> This is not painted from life. This is painted by her niece, I believe, after death. When you advance the slide, you'll notice it's modeled on a Matthew Brady photograph. >> Tim Gunn: It's romanticized. >> Highly romanticized. >> It seems like she's wearing that dress with that head dress. >> Tim Gunn: That's a good point. >> Could be. Yeah. >> Tim Gunn: What do you think? >> I think it's modeled on that photograph. >> Tim Gunn: Interesting. >> She famously had a dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley a wellknown AfricanAmerican dressmaker. She was criticized, wasn't she, for being so interested in fashion? >> Mary Lincoln wanted to be Dolley Madison. Had war not broken out she probably would have been an incredibly successful White House hostesses. But a Civil War happened. So on the one hand Mary's doing the right thing, showing stature and stability of the president by entertaining, dressing well, playing this part. On the other hand, there's a war going on and you're going to be criticized for fashion. She's in an uncomfortable situation. She doesn't have as much of her husband's time as she would normally have. Elizabeth Keckley was also a southerner, someone she can relate to and becomes her confidant. So fashion is a way they can talk together and work together. It became her downfall in the end. She was taken out by something called the old clothes scandal where Mary tried to sell her old clothes, which is hardly a disreputable thing to do. She was so afraid after the President's death of being impoverished that she employed Elizabeth Keckley to go with her to New York, where they were trying to be discrete. But people knew who Mrs. Lincoln was. They stayed in a hotel where Mary Lincoln refused to stay in a room that Mrs. Keckley couldn't stay in. So they slept in the attics because the hotel wouldn't serve Mrs. Keckley, the restaurant wouldn't serve Mrs. Keckley. So Mary wouldn't eat in the restaurant. They would have food in their room. But two fine dealers who would sell Mary's clothes, it became a nineday wonder as all of New York came to look at Mary's clothes but would not bid. And the press was scathing. It's the reason Mrs. Keckley wrote her memoir, was to try and save Mary's reputation. >> And then Mary severed their relationship. She was so disconcerted by Elizabeth Keckley who was trying to tell good things about her, revealing secrets of the White House, that this woman who she called her best and dearest friend, they never spoke again. >> Mrs. Lincoln was really manic depressant. Wasn't she? >> I think today we would say Mary could have benefited from a little Prozac. [Laughter] To be fair. Now, to be fair. >> She went through a bit. >> Had two children die. Had three children die and her husband die in front of her. So I can understand if she was a little depressed. When you're talking about the d colletage, Mary Lincoln is fond of her shoulders. Her husband thought she was beautiful but infamously had one dress, in Mrs. Keckley's memoir, with a long train, a low bodice, and he remarked that the cat had a fine tale tonight, maybe if a little more of the tale were up by the neck it would be a finer dress. [Laughter] >> Tim Gunn: And this is an Elizabeth Keckley dress? >> It is. >> Tim Gunn: As is this. That's the back of it. >> Actually, it's the bodice. Two bodices, right? >> Mmhmm. Is that normal? >> Absolutely. Many, many dresses had two bodices, one for evening and one for day. Because by this time there's a real distinction. For evening, short, plunging, but for daytime you're all covered up. That wouldn't have been true in Dolley Madison's day. But here it's clear distinctions. In the evening you were with your social equals, theoretically. And it was all aesthetic display. It wasn't considered overtly sexual. But in the daytime you're out, all covered up. >> Tim Gunn: I have a sincere question. How much did the First Lady's wardrobe impact the reputation of the President and his administration? Was it just a sidebar? >> I think it's a very easy thing to trivialize. It's certainly not the first thing you're thinking about in the presidential administration. Mrs. Robb said something earlier about dressing, showing your value, dressing to your value. Show for what you're worth. "Selling for what you're worth." Thank you. That's the First Lady's job. She is representing the administration, the style of the administration, how formal the administration is and the stability and value of the administration. If this is a well put together, stately, expensively dressed woman, then you can reckon that the administration is stable, has style, can entertain European dignitaries and can stand equal with the crowned heads of Europe which when you're trying to get somebody to come in on your side of the Civil War when you need England to come in on your side, that's what you want to present. >> Tim Gunn: Precisely. Let's move on to Mrs. Cleveland, Francis Cleveland. Let's see some of her style. >> Was that painting in the style of Sergeant or by Sergeant? >> I think it's in the style. >> Tim Gunn: This is a Worth gown also. It is silk, Indian, embroidered with orange blossoms, draped with a silk tulle with a circlet on her hands. >> This would have been the height of fashion. To be his client, would almost always travel over to Paris. He would put together a look for you. He was the first one who took from smallscaled artisans, dressmakers sewing at your hem, to being someone all about big business and high art. And very often he'd tell his clients, you know, I see you in yellow. He was sort of a dictator and much mocked in the press. But he was the first hugely successful, established couturier. This was the height of fashion. >> Tim Gunn: When we think of fashion designers, his name pops up at the very beginning. >> This is also her wedding dress. >> Tim Gunn: There is her wedding, which happened in, when did it happen? >> In the White House. In the Blue Room, if I remember correctly. That is an absolutely fictitious drawing. [Laughter] It was hidden from reporters. An announcement went out that the President was going to be married. People were literally trying to peer into the windows, which were blocked. And the artists had to come up with their rendition of what the wedding must have looked like. She was amazingly, they called her yumyum. And speculation had been that he would marry her mother. When asked, are you getting married, he said he was waiting for his bride to grow up. And he wasn't kidding. >> Tim Gunn: She was very young. >> 21. She graduated from college, went to Europe, came home, and married the President of the United States. She's sort of had a old head on young shoulders; very stately, very grave, very mature. >> Tim Gunn: And here she is wearing what we would call choker today around her neck. At the time they were calling it a dog collar. I don't think it was a compliment. >> It was following Alexander Prince of Wales so it helped establish that. Hers were often encrusted with diamonds. So again, very stylish. >> I'm sure the WCTU took comfort in it. Of course, the young First Lady supposed to be a role model so she announced that Mrs. Cleveland was going to stop wearing this very lowcut bodices which they thought was wonderful. They hadn't checked with Mrs. Cleveland. Mrs. Cleveland, thank you very much, she would continue to wear what she was going to wear. So they had to take comfort in the gloves and the sleeves. >> Tim Gunn: We see another example where the bodice is switched out. >> That would be a dinner bodice. >> Tim Gunn: I like it. Does it also mean it expands? [Laughter] >> You can see that's a corseted waist. Notice the dress is made with a separate bodice and skirt. That's typical. You don't have many onepiece dresses then. >> Actually, the piece on that is three bodices. The one it came with, which is actually the peach bodice made in Paris. And then when they got back to America, that green bodice was made by Lottie Barton a Baltimore dressmaker. Some was taken out of the skirt and remodeled as yet another bodice. >> I love the petticoat peeking out. Beautiful. >> Tim Gunn: That is wonderful. Back up again. Yes. All right. Now we have Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. She was in the White House from 1913 until 1921, which was a very interesting period of time for a lot of reasons. >> She looks in that first picture like the whole transition of fashion happened between the first picture and the second. >> Tim Gunn: Yes. That's true. When you look at this. This is I guess the flapper era. >> Looks like early '20s, 1920's. >> Probably about. Well, if it's from the White House, it's the very late teens. And she was very fond of black so most of her clothes, aside from being a widow who married the President, most of her clothing is in black and white. >> Tim Gunn: Was she forward-thinking in her taste? >> I find it hard to believe it's the late teens. To me it looks like it's the early '20s. But it's hard to tell from the whole picture. I'd like to see it in person. >> I wonder if it's a post White House dress. >> It could be. >> Tim Gunn: Here is another. >> This is another very pretty one. >> Tim Gunn: It's very pretty. >> That could be teens. That could be late teens. >> That style reminds me of >> It does. I doubt it is a Poures, but it has that kind of sort of ethnic, romantic feel. >> Exactly. >> Tim Gunn: According to our notes, the label inside the jacket identifies this as a piece by Worth. >> Yes, he had worked for Worth for a little while. >> Tim Gunn: That's true. >> Or the sons of Worth. When they hired him they said even a great restaurant needs a potato fryer so you're in charge of the French fries. We do the grand ball gowns. You can do the day dresses. He didn't last long there. >> Tim Gunn: This is also attributed to Worth. Was worn at a private dinner party at the White House in 1915. >> That's kind of retrograde for 1915. It's not at all fashionable. That's more like a 1912looking dress. 1913. Sorry. >> The way the bosom >> Yes. It's really oldfashioned with that mono bosom, the new high waist, the neo empire style. >> I have to say almost every dress, when we were trying to mount a dress on exhibit right now. When we have a good amount of the clothes, some came from the National Trust and some that came from Mrs. Wilson herself, really as they were cleaning out the house in DC after her husband's death. But every dress we took down to the conservator, we'd choose a new one. I would get a call who would say, you have to come look at this. She did something to it. Mrs. Wilson had a sewing machine and apparently liked to fiddle with her clothes because almost every one of these pieces has been cut up or remade. And the struggle of finding a dress that was mostly intact that we could mount didn't look weird. It was timeconsuming. And this is the dress we finally came up with that she had done the least damage to. >> You keep them as Historical Museums. For the Fashion Museum, they're like, sorry, it's not working. >> Tim Gunn: Why was she compelled to do all of this tweaking? >> We've been very curious. We're still trying to find if we can find a note that says, well, today I was bored and I remade my dinner dress from 1915 I could speculate that she spent a lot of time alone, a lot of time with her ailing husband. Maybe she just so needed to amuse herself. She did make her own Red Cross hat. Maybe it's just a strange hobby she had. Maybe she fancied herself as a designer and wanted to see it's what we were speculating; she had an interest in fashion and wanted to see what she could do. >> Tim Gunn: If Valerie's correct, she would have been the first one out on "Project Runway." [Laughter] >> Make it work. >> Tim Gunn: She was having difficulty making it work. We're moving on to Grace Coolidge, Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, in the White House from 1923 to 1929. This is a gorgeous >> Beautiful. >> Tim Gunn: Amazing. Very beautiful. >> The President wanted her to wear a white dress. Artist said that he wanted, wanted the composition to be red and white. Apparently the President who liked the odd joke said, "Paint the dog red." [Laughter] >> You said that dress was originally slit higher, right, with some leg showing? >> Apparently. This is part of the White House Historical Association collection, not ours. >> Tim Gunn: This is a very interesting photograph. President Coolidge prevents Grace from wearing pants and bobbing her hair as short as she would have preferred. He often bought her luxurious hats and things to wear to public events. What's interesting about this photograph, we were looking at it earlier, it is in the White House. It's a staircase that no longer exists. It's been removed. I hope not because of what she was wearing. [Laughter] And this is quite beautiful. >> This is a flapper depression from '25 or '26. That's the perfect little flapper dress. Heavily beaded. >> It's interesting how much of that cami sticks out. Normally an arm would be there. >> I think it helped. >> He was a notorious cheapskate. This was his one extravagance to buy his wife clothes or to say I saw this and you must have it. He thought she was beautiful, doted on her and didn't want her to wear the same thing twice. >> Wow. >> Tim Gunn: And did she like the President's taste? >> She seems to have. She was very subservient isn't the right word. She knew what he liked. These were not the battles she was going to choose. She also had a sewing machine and quietly also ran up some of her own clothes. >> Tim Gunn: Oh, dear. We have to banish those home machines. >> Everybody sewed. >> Tim Gunn: My grandmother did. >> She did have an interest in appearing she liked casual clothes, the sportswear that was coming out at the time. So if you see a lot of candid pictures of her, you can see a much more casual look. >> Tim Gunn: And she was an avid animal lover. So it begs the question: What is she doing with that raccoon? >> That's Rebecca the raccoon. >> Tim Gunn: Did it become a collar? >> The temptation to say, yes, Eleanor Roosevelt. >> Tim Gunn: That's true. >> That fox. >> Tim Gunn: Here we have Eleanor Roosevelt who was in the White House for a very long time, 1933 until 1945. And this is her crepe, silk, evening gown for the 1933 Inaugural Ball. >> I read that the sleeves were removable. Oh, I see. >> We have it on display now with the sleeves off because that's the way she wore it. >> Tim Gunn: Oh, it is. >> There are wonderful moonstone clasps at the shoulders. My favorite part because it's not an Eleanor Roosevelt -- you don't think Eleanor Roosevelt and think slinky, but the back fastens with a small clasp. And if you take the sleeves off, you can open up the back and have it come down. So you get a nice draped, low back. And it's such tease a wonderful very movie star to me, very '30s. >> Such a wonderful, sexy stylish decade. >> You don't think of Eleanor Roosevelt as sexy. >> No. >> Tim Gunn: It's true. You don't. She was a bit of a minx. And Christmas readings from the President and Mrs. Roosevelt. It's hard to tell what either one of them is wearing. [Laughter] And this is a lawn party for a White House guards. That was very democratic in its own way. >> The suit let' see. On the right it's a dress. Always looks like a suit to me. It's a dress. This is what she wore to the first inaugural ceremony. So it's a beautiful they called it Eleanor Blue. It's sort of Lavender color. >> Tim Gunn: How interesting. >> It was Eleanor blue. And oddly, we have the hat that's supposed to go with it in the collection made out of the same fabric. But she didn't wear it. I'd love to know why. >> What was the fabric? >> It's sort of a velvet. So it's a beautiful sort of shimmery lavender with little flowers toward the back. >> I think she looks contrast. >> Tim Gunn: So it wasn't uncommon at all for First Ladies to recycle looks and wear things numerous times. >> Yes. You wore your clothes again, especially during a depression, during the war, but you also it's something you can say to show that you are not as extravagant as people might think that you might be. And the press will note if you're wearing something again. Depending upon the event of the press and how popular you are, you're either going to get credit for that or it's going to be a detriment and people are going to remark that you're not supporting the fashion industry enough, that you're not buying enough new clothing, that you're not giving a good impression of the United States. You can't win. You cannot win being the First Lady with your clothes. >> Tim Gunn: These were serious warriors. It was especially difficult. Didn't want to step up and out. Now we have Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower in the White House from 1953 until 1961. And what did we think about Mrs. Eisenhower's style? >> Quintessentially '50s. Pretty in pink, big, poofy skirts. >> One of the most popular with little girls who visit the collection. You can't beat the fairy tale pink princess dress. >> Tim Gunn: You see that right here, most definitely. Certainly is bedazzled. Valerie, do you think Mrs. Eisenhower was able to retain the style because she could purchase it or because it was embedded in her? Lisa Kathleen, I'm asking you the same. >> It's of the period. So in that sense it's fashionable. But it's by no means cutting edge fashion. It's sort of Anne Fogerty if not Dior. >> She loves clothes, but Mamie Eisenhower will tell you herself this is by Nettie Rosenstein. So she will go to a designer or she will buy it from a mail order catalog. Whatever she thinks is pretty is what interests her and also that doesn't look old. Mamie Eisenhower was very concerned she not look old ladyish. So she wanted things and this dress to me is a good example as something that made her feel young in which she appeared young. >> Tim Gunn: And another. >> Which comes with matching shoes, matching purse, and frightening opera length gloves. That is more magenta than you have ever seen in your life. >> Tim Gunn: Oh, dear. >> The '50s could be sublime or it could be just frightening. >> When they said you had the Mamie look, was that a putdown or a compliment? >> At the time it's always a compliment, I think, that you're dressing like the First Lady. Mamie pink. If the First Lady seems to have a color, you're wearing Mamie pink or something that would be very popular in the White House. You catch the First Lady's eye if you're dressed like her. So if you're going to an event at the White House, it can't hurt to be wearing something that Mamie Eisenhower is going to like. >> And everybody, pink was a really popular color then. Sort of a sink pink again. Sort of femininity, the feminine mystique. That was a period a lot of people could identify with her and her clothes that would make it popular. >> Tim Gunn: Most definitely. I love the caption of this photo. "Mamie enjoyed a good bargain." [Laughter] >> On her mail order. >> Tim Gunn: And this is interesting. Lisa Kathleen, can you tell us about this textile? >> This is not a piece of our collection. >> Tim Gunn: Oh, sorry. >> It is a Toile. It shows scenes in life. So the house of Gettysburg and other places that they visited and had been. It's like a quilt would be the story of your life this fabric in a little ways. >> Tim Gunn: Do we know where this dress is? >> I do not know where this dress is. I'm going to assume it is in the Presidential Library. >> Tim Gunn: All right. >> And the head of the Presidential Library system just went, oh, maybe. >> Tim Gunn: Moving on to Mrs. Kennedy. We all know, a style setter and someone people followed very, very, very carefully. What was it about Mrs. Kennedy's style? >> Seemed aristocratic. And I think it was very much an upper class style which went from Eastern Seaboard right across to Europe. So it was a look for a lot of Americans which was strike strikingly chic. People thought these were just nice clothes that one wore. But for the average American it was the first sight of a First Lady wearing this sort of chic clothing. >> Tim Gunn: Was it a glimpse inside a very rarified universe? >> I think that would be fair to say. >> It always seemed to me it's a style you can look at and think it might be achievable for you. You can imagine buying that dress. >> Everybody, "Women's Wear Daily covered her like a war. Everything she did they were covering. The general public was fascinated. >> I love this picture. It's Jackie in a strapless dress. I remember we have in the collection we had a sleeveless dress. We have a oneshoulder dress and a strapless dress. We have a cocktail dress with a jacket. I remember reading that there was concern over Mrs. Kennedy's shoulders and whether they could be seen. Cassini talked about having to convince the President that this was ok. So they moved from an inaugural dress that was sleeveless but with an overlay of chiffon to a oneshoulder dress for her first State Dinner gown designed by Cassini to eventually be strapless dresses. They found the public liked Mrs. Kennedy's shoulders just fine. >> I was amazed when I read that, that he didn't want her wearing the strapless gown. >> It's always been part of a continual problem. What is the public going to say? You belong to us. You're the First Lady. Is what you're wearing appropriate? Lord knows we have opinions on people's clothes. But now it continues. Can Mrs. Obama wear a cardigan to meet the Queen and shorts and sneakers in the Grand Canyon? What would you wear in the Grand Canyon? >> Tim Gunn: A ball gown. It's true. I just want to make one comment. This is the President and Mrs. Kennedy with the cultural attache' from fans. They're at the National Gallery of Art here. The Mona Lisa is visiting. What year is it? All I will say is as a kid, I remember standing in line to see the Mona Lisa and it was well worth it. This is a beautiful dress. This is Oleg Cassini 1961, yellow silk. So the black and white photograph is of the look that you see in color, but the bodice is switched out. >> Switching bodices. >> Tim Gunn: Still switching. Yes. The bodice in the black and white photograph is dark. >> It was dark green. The original bodice. It was switched out. >> Tim Gunn: Do we know why? Does it even matter? Matter of taste? She changed her mind. At least she didn't sew it up. [Laughter] >> You can imagine Jackie O. >> Tim Gunn: All right. We're moving on to Mrs. Richard Nixon, 1969 to 1974. It was maintained that Mrs. Nixon represented the average woman. What do we think about that? >> Who put that forth? >> They just purposely, Nixon, even winning he wasn't the most popular of individuals. When he campaigned, he actually said whatever you think of me, we all can agree that Pat would be a wonderful First Lady. [Laughter] It's an odd thing to say. But she was a lovely woman, a friendly woman who wasn't used nearly to the effect she could have been by the White House because they just didn't understand her charm and the value and the power that she had. So they trotted her out as a symbol of the average housewife. Sort of tried to mold her into this look or this image. She's just like you. >> And you think of when Nixon talked about her republican cloth coach, you know, that she was not the kind of person who was in a fancy fur coat. And then you compare that to all of the reports about Mrs. Kennedy shopping and spending tens of thousands of dollars so that Mrs. Kennedy said, "I would have had to buy sable underwear to spend that much money." You have two very different images in the public of two First Ladies. >> Which is again how you can use the First Lady and her fashion to promote the presidency candidacy and to create a particular image. >> Tim Gunn: These are images of Mrs. Nixon in clothing that we're used to seeing her in a kind of uniform. How would we describe it? >> It kind of reminds me of the queen in a way. Sort of one monochromatic, one color so that you can pick her out in a crowd. You came to see this lady, so she wants you to be able to see her. That's part of what she's doing, being visible. >> And it's perfectly fine but it's not fashionable. It's a kind of ceremonial uniform. I think that's a good idea. >> Tim Gunn: It has dignity. >> I was asked once if First Ladies, did First Ladies aim to be sexy? And after I sort of choked for a minute, I said, no, I think they aim to be appropriate. >> Right. And Mrs. Nixon embodies that look of an appropriate First Lady for your age, for your station, for the activity in which you're involved. You aim to be appropriate. >> Unfortunately it was the coming of the 1970s. Even an appropriate dress looks a little odd. It's very easy for other people to look extremely >> I love June Carter Cash. The chiffon is rolling in and out. >> The decade the tapes forgot. [Laughter] >> And it's on its way back. >> Oh, yes. Again. >> It fascinates me. I never think of an evening gown with a front zipper. But Betty Ford's State Dinner dress, there is no inaugural gown for her. She's the only First Lady that got to choose to send something to us. She chose a dress she had worn to several state dinners. It's her favorite shade of green. It has a zipper in the front. It still fascinates me. I don't think I've ever, ever any other time seen I would ask you. Is that really odd? >> What was the date of the gown? >> I'm going to say 1974. >> In the '40s I think there were front zippers. Zippers were used more. >> It's not unheard of for them. It's a lovely dress. >> Tim Gunn: It's beautiful. And here is a closeup of Mrs. Nixon's inaugural gown, one of them. Is that correct? >> This is her first inaugural gown. I have to say, this is one of the pieces we were surprised to find displayed so much better and so much better since we've redone the mannequins. The sparkle, it's a very simple dress with the deepest jewel felt and bolero jacket. It has the most amazing shimmer to it. Any way she turned or moved it must have been this beautiful glitter. A series of dresses in this time period, it's interesting, yellow. When we put them together, you were like yellow was very popular for a while. We have a series of dresses that are pastel, pastel yellow, blue, pastel green. Then you moved to the other side and suddenly we have the Nancy Reagan white and then vivid blue, purple, vivid red, and back to white again. It was an interesting rainbow going on. >> Tim Gunn: Interesting. Well, we are going to move on to Mrs. Ronald Reagan and the White House from 1981 to 1989. This is my least favorite fashion decade, I have to say. >> One thing you have to notice is how Mrs. Reagan I would think almost singlehandedly transformed red of Communist revolution to the color of Republican. All of these men wearing red ties owe a debt to Mrs. Reagan for transforming the symbol of this color. >> Tim Gunn: That's a powerful operation to have succeeded. >> Very powerful. >> And a wonderful example of fashion really reshaping the image of the White House. You move from the Carters who had this very, the White House is never going to be casual, but a much more casual, even the Inaugural Balls were parties, not balls. But a more casual entertaining style. A purposefully more casual look. And then when the Reagans were elected, all of the pre-speculation is on the Hollywood glamour that will come. Mrs. Reagan's designer clothes, and what will the style of the White House be? And that was a White Tie Inaugural Ball; first since the Eisenhowers. And just a much more formal White House. So we really do look to her clothes for indicators of what the administration will be like. >> Tim Gunn: That is a powerful role to have. And she wears a lot of Adolfo. >> Yes. And Galinos. >> Tim Gunn: In fact, this is Galanos. Last two were Adolfo. >> There was a scandal about her accepting designer clothes as gifts. Was there not? >> I forgot about that. >> Were they gifts? If they were, how were they declared and paid for? But she came from a world where this was normal. >> In Hollywood you get swag all the time. >> All the time. And how to translate that into Washington life, which is such a very different thing. A few bumps in at the time road. Fascinating closet. Everything with a tag. She reported when she wore this dress, to what function, the date in which she wore this dress. Everything is tagged so that you can tell. She does rewear clothes. You can tell when in rotation it had been. >> That's a sign of a person really interested in clothes and in her wardrobe. >> And how she presents herself. >> Absolutely. >> Wouldn't greet the same person twice in the same dress. >> Tim Gunn: Very thoughtful, I think. [Laughter] >> I think you had that tie on last time I saw you. [Laughter] >> Couldn't you get another tie? >> Tim Gunn: Exactly. I think he only owns one. And you might. That might be your perception. Absolutely. I'm going to start labeling my clothes. >> On the sentimental side, took a lot of guff for wearing a dress that she had worn for the Gubernatorial Ball. It was a sentimental choice. Mrs. Reagan, who has this beautiful dress, was also a sentimental journey. He had made the gown for Ronald Reagan's Gubernatorial Inaugural Ball oneshouldered, white wool. So I think Mrs. Reagan was also making a little bit of a sentimental journey. >> But it's a little bit different. If you hire one of America's greatest to make another masterpiece. >> True. >> If you pull it out of the closet and walk it out again. >> Tim Gunn: And here is another Adolfo suit. >> You wonder why wasn't Chanel suing at that point? >> Tim Gunn: Here we can copy everybody and it's perfectly legal. No, it's true. All of this inspiration from Europe, I spent a lot of time Tracy, you probably did, too, on Capitol Hill advocating for the Design Prohibition Act. Fashion designers in this nation do not own their intellectual property. It's largely because we were a nation of copiers. There was no incentive to have such laws in place. So we could rip people off right and left. It's perfectly legal. >> It is. For as many people would like to have intellectual property rights, there are 10 times more who don't want to go down that road. >> Tim Gunn: That's true. >> It would hurt their business. >> Tim Gunn: So we're moving on to Mrs.Clinton. And how would we describe Mrs. Clinton's style? >> The famous pantsuits and the hair problem. [Laughter] >> I think at the heart of it, I just feel like it's not important to her. You know what I mean? I think public service is very important to her. >> Yes. >> But her appearance is like down on the list. She has a lot of things to do today. >> Tim Gunn: Mrs. Clinton is looking very Presidential these days. >> She is. >> Tim Gunn: There's definitely an evolution that's been taking place. The bar has been raised. >> I think since she got to be friends with Oscar and Donna. >> Tim Gunn: At least she's taking notice. >> I think Mrs. Clinton is also this is a problem Rosalynn Carter had. It comes as a surprise and a bit of a shock that people are this interested in your clothes and take such an intense interest in your clothes or that part of your job was going to be to promote American fashion. If I do good work, you should be looking at that. But it is a part of the First Lady's job to promote American fashion industry, to promote American looks, and to be a kind of billboard for a large part of our economy. No one tells you that when you're coming in until you start finding out that you're supposed to have these particular looks. It's a very valid thing for the First Lady to be doing. You're an emissary for other things. You should be for American fashion. >> Tim Gunn: I'm always talking about the clothes we wear send a message about how the world perceives us, whomever we happen to be. In the work that I've done on Capitol Hill, having elected individuals run from me saying I don't want you to judge me; I didn't know you were going to be here. [Laughter] And my response is I'm never going to judge you providing you accept responsibility for how you're presenting yourself to the world. So if you choose to run, run on your own account but not on mine. >> You have to think, Mrs. Clinton was a lawyer. Lawyers are not the best dressed socioeconomic group in America. They're notoriously sort of very conservative, very frumpy. That's where people think fashion is all about money. If you think -- take a group of lawyers. Now take a group of hairdressers. Which one's better dressed? It's the hairdressers because they're interested in fashion. And the lawyers mostly aren't. Except when it's important for your clients and then they'll say, ok, dress to impress the jury. You're thinking that way a lot of careful thought. I think Mrs. Clinton slowly started to learn that in a way the American public was like a jury. They were looking. They were judging. >> Tim Gunn: Absolutely. So now we have Mrs. Bush. Let's move to her style. Seen also with Nancy Reagan. What would we like to say about Mrs. Bush's style, Laura Bush? >> Apparently not interested in fashion unlike Barbara Bush who was very interested. We think of Barbara Bush looking like a granny with her fake pearls but she was good friends with Scoozi and had fancy dresses whereas Laura Bush doesn't seem to have been, she wanted to look appropriate and everything, but it wasn't an interest of hers. >> I just always think of her as being so mild. You see photos of her wearing soft colors. It's relatively demure, nothing that's going to shout out. I think she just has a very gentle, mild presence. >> No fake cowboy looking like he sometimes would put on. >> There was an interesting colorship though that went on. She was very taupe, sort of beige when they were running. When she came in, this beautiful red dress. And Michael tells a wonderful story about coming actually to see the First Lady's Exhibit that Mrs. Bush asked him to look at the exhibition and see what color hadn't been used it recently so they didn't repeat a color. He said he didn't see red and red was a favorite color of his and is a gorgeous color on her. So she designed this beautiful sparkly, crimson dress, ruby red dress. As time went on, you noticed Mrs. Bush wearing more color and beautiful deep colors which are beautiful on her. I think when you see pictures of yourself that much, you start to see how everyone else is seeing you and you can start to look at yourself in these settings and maybe adjust a little bit. >> You do also see her turning away from him from regional designers to national designers. >> There seems to be a trend that your first designer is maybe somebody from home or somebody you've known. And the second designer, at least for the inaugural gown, the second designer is a name that everyone recognizes. I don't know what lessons learned are from that. But you've come to know, >> A couple of them for Clinton, Bush, but I don't think for that many. I don't think we can draw a moral from it yet. >> I think maybe you just learn your first one might not have been as successful as you wanted. I think Mrs. Obama is maybe Eisenhower who used the same twice, for both inaugural gowns. >> Tim Gunn: Here we have Mrs. Obama. I have my biases, I have to say. Tracy, you have dressed our current First Lady. >> An honor, yeah. >> Tim Gunn: A number of times. What's your sense of Mrs. Obama's style? >> You know, I feel like she's just purely an individual who wears what she likes and knows looks good on her. I think she isn't looking so much to the past to see how First Ladies have dressed and should dress. She's really a woman of the moment. I think it's very pure and natural how she presents herself. When you meet her and speak with her, that's what you get. You get this realness. I think for the presidency and for their impact on the world and the country, I think they want to present this realness. >> Tim Gunn: It's sincere. Don't you believe? >> Yeah. Very much is. >> I think she's had a huge impact on the fashion industry not so much perhaps on the average American woman, though I think the right to bear arms struck a note with a lot of people, but I think that for the fashion industry it's been super important. Jason Wu's career would be nowhere if she hadn't worn his inaugural gown. It was really good for all of those designers. She did kind of spread the wealth. She would have different designers doing dresses. I think it would, it helped a lot of them. >> She didn't just go to established designers. >> Exactly. >> She went to a lot of new, younger designers, slightly more obscure designers. She also wears a lot of affordable clothing. >> Tim Gunn: Yes. Accessible. >> Which is amazing. I think that people love to see her wearing something that they can afford to buy. >> And they do say if she's wearing something, they say it's J. crew, it will be sold out. >> It's true. >> The Kate effect. It will be gone the next day. >> There are dresses of ours that she's worn that stores call and I have certain stores that are like, please let us know if you know what she's going to wear because then we'll order more. You can't predict because they don't call you up the day before or the month before and say she's going to wear this on this date, produce a few extra hundred or thousand dresses. >> Did you know, I have to say, I think the dress that you designed that she wore at the Democratic Convention is beautiful. It's one of my, I covet that dress. >> Thank you. >> For the collection. Did you know she was going to wear that? >> I did not. We got a phone call, you know, a few weeks in advance saying she had a special engagement and if we had some ideas of something that might be appropriate or that she might like to send them down. I'm sure that they called several people the same but they did not say what it was for. I think it's the next slide. We had no idea. Literally the DNC, the convention, was on an evening when we were working. We were at the office because it was fashion week. >> Tim Gunn: A slow period for you. [Laughter] >> And she came on like after 10:00 p.m. Our controller called. She was home. She was like, Mrs. Obama is wearing our dress! Everybody, we had to stream it on the computers. We had no idea until she walked out on stage. And the funny thing with this dress is we had put sleeves on it. [Laughter] Because they literally said, you know, she doesn't want the emphasis to be on her arms, it's an important engagement. So we were like, ok, this is the original style, sleeveless. We put sleeves on it because we thought she might need them. And they removed them because it just looks better without. She was amazing. Like why cover those up? >> Tim Gunn: I know. I have to ask you, what's it like to have the First Lady wear your own creations? >> I can't really define it. She's someone that I admire greatly. Having met her and been able to speak with her, even more so. It's not just someone out there that you're wondering about. It's someone that you've had the pleasure of getting to know. I just respect her tremendously. And she wears clothes beautifully. I think she's someone people are always excited to see. It's funny, when Mr. Obama was running for the presidency the first time, there was a fundraiser thrown in New York. Anna Wintour, this list of fashion luminaries. It was at a gallery. We get there and it's this all white room. You have to shake their hand. It's like, ok. Mrs. Obama gave a speech. It was a very personal speech. And everyone was just getting more and more excited. She was looking at everyone in the crowd. She makes eye contact. She looked directly at me. And then she looked back. She's speaking. I'm looking behind me like, who is she looking at? >> Tim Gunn: At you. >> At the end of the speech, we had the opportunity to meet her. But all of these fancy designers bum rushed the stage. It was hilarious. People were shouldering each other out, pushing and shoving. And I was like, where am I? Who are these people? That's how everybody was jockeying for position and for some kind of favor to touch her arm. It was interesting to see the fashion flock kind of crazy. The fashion flock is a tough, tough crowd. She won everybody over immediately. >> Tim Gunn: So capable of that. Let's open the floor to questions. Do we have two mics? One on each side? And we would like very much for you to rise and go to the mic because we want everyone in the audience to hear your question. >> Hello. >> Tim Gunn: Hi there. >> Thank you so much for being here tonight. Obviously at the Archives, we've been looking back at the history of First Lady fashion, but we're living in an age where we might actually see the first woman president. And so I was wondering if you all might like to speculate about what Presidential lady fashion might look like. [Laughter] [Applause] >> Well, there's certainly been a number of female leaders around the world now so we've seen a variety of different styles. I think it's going to depend a lot on the particular person. If it's Hillary Clinton, I think that what she evolved into over the course of the last 20 years or so is probably going to be something like what you'll see. Someone who was initially not particularly interested in fashion but who began to understand more about how it can work and got to be friends with some fashion designers and who accept that it has a role in how people view you because she is a supremely intelligent woman. So I would assume that it would have something of a role, but probably not as much as if it were someone like Michelle Obama who I feel has a more natural sort of love of fashion and a more experimental feeling. And there I think some of the same rules would apply, that the clothing would have to seem to be appropriate, powerful and yet womanly. Maybe not feminine in the Mamie Eisenhower sense, so you don't want to look like a imitation man. >> I also think that now is such a wonderful time for women in business. We have so much more choice. There's so much less dictated to us. I think there's power in being sexy. You know, I'm not saying overtly sexy, but there's power in it. And women are starting to feel that. And use it more. So it would be interesting to see what could transpire. >> Tim Gunn: And I'm always saying there are profound differences in the two genders. And show them off. >> Work it. >> Tim Gunn: Yeah. >> If nothing else, it would be amazing to see color at a Presidential press conference. [Laughter] >> Tim Gunn: This is true. >> It would be a first. >> Tim Gunn: Hello. >> I think we've shown tonight that it's fun to laugh at First Ladies for their fashion mistakes and that critics have been doing it for a few hundred years, but I think it becomes sort of problematic when you think about the implications it has on gender equality. And I think it's been interesting in the past few months, especially, to look at how people have been criticizing Mr. Obama's fashion. His summer suit got a lot of press recently. And I was wondering if you thought that that indicated something about gender equality when it comes to fashion that everyone's an equal target now. >> I think more and more that's becoming the case. If you look at something like Women's Wear Daily, sort of the Bible for the fashion industry, they regularly rate men. They don't do it with women. They only do it with men. They grade them. And they're harsh graders. So it's like cminus detailing everything from the haircut to the collar, to the pants being too long, to the shoes being wrong. So I think very much we're becoming more and more of visually literate society. I think people are looking at men's clothes as well as women's clothes now more than they ever more than they've been for a long time. >> Tim Gunn: I will add, men have escaped the criticism. It's high time that they come under the microscope as well. [Applause] It's true. >> These are not people, they didn't go into their business because they were interested in fashion. So it is you have to feel sorry for people in a way who were thrust into they've chosen to be in this limelight, but it's like the lawyers; this wasn't what they were expecting. Again, it's always a shock, I think, especially for the men, to find out that people are going to critique what they're wearing. You know, the President's dad jeans or a badly cut suit. This is just not what they thought they were going to be graded on. >> But there will be no improvement without criticism. >> Tim Gunn: That's true. >> And on that note, though, I was at a gala last weekend. There were so many senior gentlemen who were wearing tuxedos from 1980. I think there should be a rule. Give it up. At least every 10 years update your tux. If your shoulders are out to here and it's sagging and your pants are very full and breaking, it's time. >> Tim Gunn: It is definitely time. Time for an incinerator. >> And women will appreciate it. >> Tracy, I'm a huge fan of your designs. >> Thank you. >> In the future will we see more designs where you switch out a bodice? >> I like the idea, actually. The twopiece dressing is trending. We call that having a top and skirt and in the same print or fabric. It's actually kind of trending. So we can switch out some bodices sooner than you might think. >> Look forward to it. Thank you. >> Tim Gunn: Can I ask you a question, Tracy. Does it help with fit when you have two pieces as opposed to one? >> It does. Hardly any woman is the same size up and down. I'm like two sizes larger on the bottom than on the top. I think a lot of people have that issue. Either they're bigger on top or bigger on the bottom. It's incredible that anything fits. You know? We work really hard on it. You put stretch in it things you try different silhouettes that might be more flexible. But no two women are the same size. There are a few. My fit model is the same size up and down. That's her job. She keeps it that way. I think most women are different sizes up and down. >> Tim Gunn: Do we have only two people with questions? Come up. >> I could just stand. I'm loud. So we talked about >> Tim Gunn: You know why? This is being taped for the National Archives. We have to have your voice. >> Now I'm really nervous. >> Tim Gunn: Don't be. >> Hello, C-SPAN. [Laughter] I have a question, all 12 of you about your remarks about us being a nation of copycats traditionally. Given that American design is so resurgent right now, do you think First Ladies should make a complement to only wearing Americanmade clothes and American designers? >> Tim Gunn: What do we think? >> I think that it's good if First Ladies can favor American designers and a range of them, like Mrs. Obama. Not just the famous ones who don't need her help. But I do think that having a kind of litmus test where you say if you wear any foreign design, that's not playing fair, I think that's infringing on her freedom as a woman and as an individual. If she wants to wear an Alexander McQueen dress or sweater, I'm opposed to anybody telling people what you can and can't wear. >> It was a litmus test in the past, though, interestingly. >> It was. >> First Ladies would proudly proclaim that they only wore American clothes. Sometimes in support of Tariffs. >> But sometimes it was a lie. >> Yes. >> Thank you. >> Tim Gunn: Hi. >> Hi. I heard comments about affordable clothing that was worn by Mrs. Obama and also the red dress that was worn by Nancy Reagan. And the implications in terms of accessibility to affordable clothing and the impact of this power red with the Republican Party. And I'm interested if you can speak a little bit more about the role of the First Lady and how her style can speak volumes to the climate of the nation through whether it's the selections they make based on the economy, just like the affordable clothing, or the politics of style, so to speak. I know we've talked a lot tonight about individual styles, but it's an interesting thing to think of how the First Lady represents the nation and where we are at the time that they are in the White House. >> Well, I think that most First Ladies want to create an image which is not just about expressing them as an individual but they understand that they're also expressing something about their husband's administration and the politics of that. So whether it's more or less egalitarian or more or less kind of an elite style, that's going to be played out in the clothing. It's not very often that they're going to make a very overtly political or partisan statement in their clothing. Because most of the time none of us do that. And First Ladies probably also not very much. I think that there is a role for emphasizing things that you believe in and that are going to express something about what you feel you and your husband and the administration are for. You know, so that if you want to express something about being a young, modern, dynamic, egalitarian regime that you would be trying to use clothing in one way to say that. >> And even, sorry -- with Mrs. Obama and childhood obesity, trying to bring attention to that and the idea of being fit and having beautiful arms, being very fit herself and very active, I think that keeps it top of mind when you see her. This is a modern woman who's fit and active and is working to help the country be fit and active. >> Tim Gunn: And I will add, and largely on your behalf, Tracy, the First Lady today and in the past will wear the work of current designers. And designers across disciplines, particularly fashion designers, are a barometric gauge of our society and culture. They design a societal, cultural, historic, political and economic. By definition of what they're wearing they're reflecting the times in a manner of speaking. >> We have had a few First Ladies who have used clothes, Eleanor Roosevelt is an excellent example. Readymade clothing, more and more people are buying. She does talk about how even busy women like her, a rich society woman, likes to buy off the rack but she makes a point of cautioning against buying from sweatshops. Hoover, not the first person you think of when you think of fashion but the first First Lady to appear in "Vogue" and someone who made "Best Dressed" list in Washington, D.C. during the Depression makes a point of promoting cotton clothing to promote the southern cotton industry. Tried a cotton evening gown. It didn't catch on. But gave it a shot. And proudly proclaimed this in the newspapers to try and use their clothes and influence to make a really political or economic statement. >> Thank you. >> That goes way back. Napoleon urged Josephine to wear more silk because it helped the poor silk weavers who were all starving. Wear silk. Bring silk back in fashion. >> Tim Gunn: Yes. Hi. >> Hi. I was wondering if each of you had a favorite in terms of the different senses of style for each First Lady, which would be your favorite for each of you? >> I have my favorite. [Laughter] >> Tim Gunn: I think we share that favorite. >> Yeah. >> Mrs. I really do like Mrs. Obama's style. It's so eclectic. Because it's been so meaningful for so many people that I know in the industry so exciting. You didn't know I remember Isabel Toledo saying she didn't know Mrs. Obama was going to wear her dress and coat. It was just pandemonium at the house when they saw it. >> I always say it's like asking a mother to choose between her children. They all come to me in the end. I have a I loved Helen Taft's clothes. After 15 minutes, it's my dress anyway. I watch the inauguration and it's beautiful and then I start thinking, don't step on my train. >> And then, of course, from a fashion perspective, it's always the next one. Which might be the next First Gentleman. >> That will be interesting. >> I actually wanted to question on what the earlier person said. If we do have a Madam President, will the Smithsonian have the tux that the gentleman wears? >> The First Laddie. >> The Smithsonian's definition of First Lady this sounds like a copout. It's not. The Smithsonian's definition of First Lady is established 100 years ago. It was the Mistress of the White House. And really it's the person that fills the role of First Lady. So Harriet Lane isn't necessarily a wife. It's the person who fills the particular role. So we will have to wait and see how the White House, that presidency deals with the role of First Lady and who will be serving that function. You're always going to be the host and hostesses in your own home, but who will be taking on the roles traditionally played by the First Lady and will that person be the First Lady? I am looking forward to putting that first inaugural woman's suit in the presidency exhibit, though. >> Tim Gunn: Hi. >> Hello. Thank you so much for this. If we could talk more about how shoes and accessories factor into this being that it's something we all care about and it's a huge part of the fashion industry. >> Tim Gunn: And it's that headtotoe look. It's not just the apparel. >> True. >> There have only been a few occasions when the accessories have really come to the floor. Notoriously, of course, with Mrs. Kennedy's pillbox hat and conversely when Jack Kennedy did not wear a hat, which put one more nail on to the hat industry but it was going out anyway. And with shoes, nowadays shoes are so important to us and handbags. But historically they've really had been seen as just accessories to the main dress. What's changed so much, partly because I think we've become so much freer in terms of fashion, it's now often the accessories have a main thing. A lot of people will dress now from the feet up. You probably have a lot of shoes and hats and accessories. >> We have a reasonable amount of shoes and hats. Shoes more than hats because we'll frequently get the entire ensemble because fewer people are wearing hats. Actually, my favorite shoes right now are the red shoes Mrs. Obama wore with the second inaugural gown. We still have a picture of the white outfit, the first outfit up. When you look at that, it's the beautiful train and some high heels. And the second dress has no train and kitten heels. So you sort of wonder, hmm. One night spent in that and what did you it's amazing how many people comment. That's one of the things they want to look at. We're trying to put more shoes out now. >> I think shoes are becoming more and more interesting in design and in our focus on them. >> We don't see First Lady handbags. Probably ever. A few evening bags. >> A few evening bags. >> No day bags. I think it's in the car or someone is holding it. >> Yes, they almost all have an inaugural purses made by Judith Leiber. We have a run of her purses. I think it became a tradition at a certain point. >> Tim Gunn: The two individuals standing will be our last two questions. We'll begin with you. >> Thank you. So DC does not really have the reputation for being a very fashionforward city. So my question is, with the emphasis on First Lady fashion and even to the extent members of Congress that are women and their fashion choices, what impact do you think that emphasis has on DC residents, lawyers and lobbyists included and being a little more savvy when it comes to their own style? >> Tim Gunn: Can I jump in and say I wish it had an impact? [Laughter] Truly. >> We're trying. We're trying. >> I think people need to break out of the box. I think it's a very conservative town because of the politics, I guess. And everyone is aligned and everyone is in a certain camp. And that camp dresses the same. But I think being individual and kind of standing for self is equally important. It would be great to see people express themselves. >> Tim Gunn: Anything to add? Hi. >> Hi. My question goes back to Jackie Kennedy and just the impact she had on fashion. How much of that impact do you think was due to technology evolving and television becoming such a main impact? >> I think that was an important factor in it. She could be covered so extensively. There would be photographs and television. But celebrity is something that technology can elaborate celebrity but it doesn't cause celebrity. I think even had she lived earlier, she probably would have had a very powerful impact because she was so much into high style and into using the high style. I think quite selfconsciously and intelligently as a way of trying to promote the presidency as being very modern, very young, etc. I think the very chic clothes helped with that. There was nothing oldfashioned about it. >> There's also, every few First Ladies just take the public imagination. Jacqueline Kennedy, Francis Cleveland, Jacqueline Kennedy of the 19th Century. It's the same sort of just this is the person the public looks at and can't get enough of. That was First Lady without that many cameras. She just becomes a fixture for America. No matter what she's doing, what she's wearing, you want to know more. Mrs. Cleveland, Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Obama is someone that just the public seized on them. >> Celebrity is a strange thing. Fashion celebrities in particular. It's an amazing, people will just identify whether or not in fact they look anything like the person. I remember when the wonderful Jackie Kennedy showed at the Costume Institute. There were lines and lines of adoring people wearing baggy shorts and fanny packs and flipflops. Going to worship wearing that? [Laughter] >> Tim Gunn: Very good question. Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Valerie Steele, Tracy Reese, thank you so very, very much. And thanks, thank all of you. Thank you. [Applause] I hope we learned a lot tonight. I know we had a lot of fun. Thank you. Let's make the world look better. [Laughter] >> It starts with you. >> Tim Gunn: That's right. Thank you so very much. [The presentation ended at 8:35 p.m.]

Defunct museums

See also


  1. ^ "Haulfre Stables". Culture 24. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Facebook site". RNLI Gwylfan Seawatch Centre RNLI Gwylfan Seawatch Centre. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Print this page PDF this page Award winning RNLI volunteers receive keys to Moelfre Seawatch Centre". RNLI. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Places of Interest". Go Anglesey. Archived from the original on 25 February 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Tredegar Local History Museum". Visit Wales. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Bro Aman Museum". Carmarthenshire County Council. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Quaker Heritage Centre". Snowdonia National Park Authority. Archived from the original on 7 June 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  8. ^ Davies, Hunter (2010). "Chapter 4: The Baked Bean Museum of Excellence, Port Talbot". Behind the scenes at the Museum of Baked Beans: My search for Britain's Maddest Museums. Virgin Books. pp. 59–72. ISBN 978-0-7535-2213-4.
  9. ^ "Carew Cheriton Control Tower". Pembrokeshire Virtual Museum. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  10. ^ "W H Smith and son". Newtown Powys blog. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  11. ^ "The Egypt Centre Museum of Egyptian Antiquities". Swansea University. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Bersham Heritage Centre". Wrexham County Borough Museum and Archives. Retrieved 5 January 2016. Bersham Heritage Centre is now closed to the public.
  13. ^ "Celtica in Wales". Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Llanrwst Almshouse Museum rent rise blamed for closure". BBC News. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Celebrations as town council re-open Llanrwst Almshouses Museum". Daily Post. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Diecast Tuesday 13th March 2007 12:00am 82 lots containing "The Contents of the Museum of Childhood Memories - Beaumaris, Anglesey, Tinplate Toys" in this auction". Vectis Auctions. 13 March 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
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