- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2014

For the second time, Michelle Obama has sent her inaugural gown to the Smithsonian Institution for display — a historical first for the museum, which has never before showcased a gown from a second inauguration.

Her ruby-colored chiffon gown from Jason Wu is on loan to the National Museum of American History for the next year at the same time the facility is showcasing its 100th anniversary collection of first ladies’ items, The Associated Press reported. The dress — along with Mrs. Obama’s Jimmy Choo shoes — will be ready for public viewing on Tuesday, the museum said.

The display of second inaugural wear is uncommon. Usually, first ladies allow their first gowns to go on display at the Smithsonian, but reserve their second inaugural dresses for presidential libraries, AP said. This is the first time the Smithsonian will put a second inaugural gown on display.

Smithsonian curator Lisa Kathleen Graddy said it seemed a nice time to start a new tradition for the first ladies’ exhibition.

“The more I started thinking about it, it’s such a long time before the presidential library is built,” she said, in the AP report. “There’s such interest in the dress. I thought maybe it would be interesting if we could borrow the dress and do a special display, a special limited-time display here so that people would get a chance to see it.”

The gown is embellished with velvet and has a ring at the top rimmed with diamonds.