Even though it is somewhat a break in the tradition of the 200-year or so history of the US Presidency, but does First Lady Michelle Obama’s second inaugural gown deserve to be exhibited in the Smithsonian?
Traditionally, the second inaugural gowns of every reelected US Presidents hence are usually destined to be exhibited in their respective presidential libraries, but as of late, US First Lady Michelle Obama’s second inaugural gown got the green light to be exhibited in the Smithsonian. Does her gown deserving enough to be exhibited there?
According to the current Smithsonian curator Lisa Kathleen Grady, it is traditionally only the first inaugural gowns of the White House’s First Ladies that gets the green light to be exhibited in the Smithsonian despite their POTUS husbands being reelected for a second term and thus a second US Presidential Inauguration Ceremony come January after the US Presidential Elections scheduled in November. Notable US First Ladies’ first inaugural gowns exhibited in the Smithsonian that are very popular to visitors belong to the then First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and the then First Lady Nancy Reagan – but will current US First Lady Michelle Obama’s second inaugural gown outshine them all?
The red chiffon gown designed by Jason Wu could be timelessly stylish or not may be a debate best left to posterity, but I think the main reason why the top brass at the Smithsonian decided to exhibit the US First Lady Michelle Obama’s second inaugural gown might be due to her popularity. Or it might be due to the dearth of exhibits concerning influential African-Americans in the Smithsonian other than musicians and/or political activists.