Friday, April 24, 2015

White House China Display and DAR Building

As you know, I love dishes so I thoroughly enjoyed the Smithsonian's White House china display that was part of the First Ladies' Collection. While not as extensive as the China Room at the White House, it's a nice sampling.  

Not every First Lady gets to select and purchase new china.  It's only ordered when there's not enough pieces to accommodate the large number of guests at a state dinner, and replacement pieces are not available.  

I hope you enjoy seeing the china as much as I did. Wouldn't it be grand to dine at the White House?  Only in my dreams!  ;-)

Nancy Reagan took a lot of flack for ordering this china, but it wasn't purchased by taxpayer dollars. The Lenox china was paid for by the J.P. Knapp Foundation.  

~ By Haviland and Company - Paris, France ~

Laura Bush ordered the last set of White House china which arrived just before they left the White House.

Sandy and I left the Smithsonian and headed for the DAR building on foot.  We discovered it was a bit of a hike!

But we saw some great sights on the way such as the Washington Monument and the White House, which was just two blocks from the DAR building.

We finally arrived at our destination at 1776 D. and 17th Streets. The DAR is one of the largest buildings of its kind owned and maintained exclusively by women, and is ranked among the top 75 attractions in D.C.

The current exhibition at the DAR is "Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland and Virginia," but unfortunately we only had time to browse their gift shop as we had a 4:00 o'clock reservation for Afternoon Tea at Lady Camellia's Tea Room in Georgetown.  Below are my two purchases: a teapot picturing the DAR building, and a plate with a pineapple, the symbol of hospitality reflective of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Both pieces will go on the built-in shelves in my living room when my hubby gets them finished.

The Metro doesn't go to Georgetown, so we called a taxi to pick us up at the DAR building. After being on our feet all day, Sandy and I concluded it was the best $14 we ever spent! ;-)

Next post will be about Afternoon Tea at Lady Camellia's.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection

The First Ladies' Collection was displayed on the third floor, and included inaugural gowns, elegant dresses, and accessories.  The exhibit was very crowded with tourists, so seeing each gown and photographing them took considerable time, only to find out there was a book in the gift shop with photos of all the gowns!  My photos are used for today's blog post. 

The First Ladies' exhibition has been one of the Smithsonian's most popular attractions for more than 100 years. The gowns are exhibited on a rotational basis every three to six months to protect them. Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy viewing 22 First Ladies' gowns and dresses.  Apologizes for glare and distortions caused from photographing through glass.

Two dresses were featured belonging to Lou Hoover.  Behind her multi-colored floral day dress [front center, below] are a skirt and three coordinating bodices that were a part of Frances Folsom Cleveland's wardrobe.

There were two dresses displayed belonging to Grace Coolidge.

Michelle Obama's gown was the first one with a train in sixty-four years.

~ Two dresses of Dolly Madison's ~ 

~ Mary Todd Lincoln ~

~ Lady Bird [Claudia Taylor] Johnson ~

That concludes the gowns and dresses. Do you have a favorite?  Tomorrow will end my Smithsonian visit with White House China, also part of the First Ladies exhibition.