Pulse: 60-Second Critic: Exhibit: First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image

Take a peek into the personas of the Real Housewives of Washington, D.C.


First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, The National Constitution Center, through December 31st

Philly is the last stop for the Smithsonian’s rarely traveled collection of presidential-spouse memorabilia, which offers a peek into the personas of the Real Housewives of Washington, D.C. As with all good dramas, beneath the glamour — the elaborate silver centerpieces, the fine china, the decadent velvet evening dresses — lies the ladies’ struggle to reconcile their roles as public figures in changing and often tumultuous times. The exhibit offers a fascinating look at the creative ways First Ladies gradually expanded the post to push boundaries and champion social issues — suffrage, education, health care — without ever neglecting their ribbon-cuttings. A-