The Museum of American History was closed for two years undergoing renovations not too long back, and so when it reopened it was like going into it for the first time. When you walk in from the entrance on Constitution Avenue and not the main entrance from the Mall side, you will find that on each side of the large hall on either wall, are items behind very large glass partitions. I have been to the museum two or three times since its reopening and several times before that. I can't remember this dress from before but I have been drawn to it ever since I noticed it behind the glass. From as far back as I can remember I have always been interested in old clothing and costumes, which includes the national dress of other countries. I think I mentioned that before in a previous post some time in the last year.
This is an Egyptian-styled dress from 1913-14. It was owned by Ethelind Knapp Roberts (1886-1969), and the sign said she may have acquired it during a 1913 trip to Europe. The Franco-Egyptian exhibition at the Louvre in 1911 sparked a growing interest in ancient Egyptian motifs among fashion and jewelry designers. This was a gift from Mrs. Alfred Roberts.
We were actually heading for two exhibits today. Gregg wanted to look at the Presidents' Hall and I wanted to see all the dresses of the First Ladies going as far back as Martha Washington. If my memory is not letting me down I do believe there is a dress that Martha Washington wore. The lines were too long this time to see each exhibit, so we are going to go back later on when it is a little quieter around here. We are fortunate enough to live pretty close to Washington DC.