As the nation prepares to welcome a new president, they’ll also be welcoming a new first lady.
Inside the National First Ladies’ Library in Canton, you'll invitations to the presidential inaugurations and gowns worn by each of the nation's First Ladies to the Inaugural Ball. But there’s more to consider as Melania Trump steps into the new role as First Lady. Take for example her modeling career, including nude photos that were published in GQ and sparked a lot of discussions during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Yeh, absolutely. Why not?” said Archives Director Michelle Gullion.
For libraries and museums across the world, it’s all about capturing history. For the National First Ladies’ Library in Canton, it’s about all of it.
“That’s her history. We take the history as it comes.”
The photos wouldn't be part of a public display in an exhibit, but could be part of the library’s archives. It’s a first for the library, but that’s what history is all about. In this case, it’s about documenting a women’s journey to the White House.
“Since [Melania Trump] was born and raised in Slovenia, we’ll be looking to see what we can find in Slovenia which is a unique thing to do since she was born in a foreign country,” said Gullion.
The current exhibit on display is named the "Inaugural Pomp and Couture” where visitors can find a replica of the gowns worn by the first ladies during the Inaugural Ball, including First Lady Michelle Obama’s gown created by designer Jason Wu. Next up: Melania Trump’s gown. The library staff has already predicted what color the next First Lady will choose.
“Gold is what everyone is leaning towards.”
It’ll take about two months for a designer to recreate the dress, but the library goes far beyond the fashion. It works to captures the character and the legacy left behind each of the women who have become influential figures in the White House.