Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s signature works by a woman artist, Sally Milgrim’s ball gown for Eleanor Roosevelt for the 1933 inaugural. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!
This slate-blue silk crepe evening gown was designed by Sally Milgrim (1898–1994) for the 1933 inaugural ball. Embroidered with a leaf-and-flower design in gold thread, it featured detachable long sleeves. The belt buckle and shoulder clips are made of rhinestone and moonstone. Milgrim, known for her clothes’ quality and detail, began designing in the 1920s, adding women’s clothing to her family’s custom suit business, and went on to have stores around the country. On view November 2011–December 2013 in The First Ladies exhibition.
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 14th St. & Constitution Ave., NW; Website: http://americanhistory.si.edu