First ladies' gowns return to Smithsonian display

Designer Jason Wu with Michelle Obama. Wu designed Obama's gown. (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) - First ladies' gowns and other objects are returning to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in a new exhibit.

For more than 100 years, the First Ladies Collection has been one of the most popular attractions at the Smithsonian. In the new exhibit opening Saturday, "The First Ladies" examines how first ladies have shaped their roles as the role of women in society has changed.

The new exhibit features 26 dresses including those worn by Michelle Obama, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan and Jacqueline Kennedy. It will also display more than 160 other objects, including portraits, White House china and personal possessions.

The museum is moving some collections as it prepares to renovate its west wing with new permanent exhibits on the presidency, first ladies and politics.

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