Mrs. Bush reads to children in the White House Library, 24 Jul 90. Photo Credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum


March 01, 2018 to October 01, 2018
12:00 AM


George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University View map


On view through October 1

The special exhibit First Ladies—Style of Influence at the George W. Bush Presidential Center examines how the role of the first lady has evolved over time, and how first ladies have used their position to advance diplomacy and other social, cultural, and political initiatives.

The impact of first ladies, including Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Jackie Kennedy, Dolley Madison, Michelle Obama, and Eleanor Roosevelt, will be viewed through themes presented in the Bush Institute’s landmark research report, A Role Without a Rulebook: The Influence and Leadership of Global First Ladies.

Visitors will explore how American first ladies have served as hostess, teammate, champion, and policy advocate, all within the context of the changing American political and cultural landscape. The exhibit will feature artifacts spanning more than 200 years of White House history, including a letter from Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, Betty Ford's handbag, and Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" baseball jersey.

In addition to rare photographs and historic documents, artifacts on display will include a black evening gown worn by Eleanor Roosevelt, a snuff box owned by Dolley Madison, and Lou Hoover’s original Girl Scout uniform and Cine-Kodak movie camera.

As their stories unfold, visitors will learn the challenges and rewards of a position that is reimagined by each person who holds it. Sponsored by: Carol and Alan J. Bernon Family Foundation, The Hersh Foundation, Target, ExxonMobil, and Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District.

9am–5pm Monday–Saturday; 12–5pm Sunday.
$19 adults; $17 youth 13–17; $13 children ages 5–12; free for 4 and younger.