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In brief: Smithsonian exhibit includes first lady’s second gown

SUNDAY, JAN. 19, 2014

WASHINGTON – Michelle Obama’s fashion is making history again as her second inaugural gown is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution.

Obama’s ruby-colored chiffon gown made by designer Jason Wu is being lent to the National Museum of American History for a year to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s first ladies exhibition. The dress, paired with Obama’s shoes designed by Jimmy Choo, went on display Tuesday.

While the Smithsonian traditionally collects each first lady’s first inaugural gown, second gowns are usually shown only in presidential libraries. This is the first time the museum has displayed a second inaugural gown.

The dress was transferred to the National Archives but is being lent to the Smithsonian with the White House’s blessing.

The red gown is embellished with cut velvet that carries a unique shimmer, Smithsonian Curator Lisa Kathleen Graddy said. It features a cross-halter strap neckline, and the ring at the top is adorned with small diamonds.

Met marks Super Bowl with football trading card display

NEW YORK – The Metropolitan Museum of Art is presenting a pop-up exhibition celebrating football through the ages with vintage trading cards. It opens Friday and runs through Feb. 10.

The 150 cards, beginning with a series from 1894, are part of approximately 600 football cards from the museum’s vast collection of 300,000 trading cards donated to the Met by the late card collector and cataloger Jefferson Burdick. All predate the founding of a national football league in 1920 and the first Super Bowl in 1967.

The cards – which feature football greats, lesser-known collegiate players, owners and teams – were inserted into such products as candy, gum and tobacco.

With the Super Bowl being played Feb. 2 in nearby East Rutherford, N.J., organizing the “Gridiron Greats” exhibition was a natural, said Freyda Spira, the Met’s assistant curator of the department of drawings and prints.

While some may view such an exhibition at the Met as an anomaly, the Burdick collection is part of the museum’s mission to include printed material “for a mass public,” Spira said.

Sin City’s welcome now comes via solar-powered sign

LAS VEGAS – Officials in Las Vegas are harnessing the power of the sun to light the city’s iconic welcome sign.

Elected officials and project leaders flipped a switch earlier this month linking solar panels on 25-foot towers to the glittering neon “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

The project was headed by the Green Chips and Clean Energy Project nonprofit organizations and funded by the Consumer Electronics Association, electric utility NV Energy, the Las Vegas Centennial Commission and Bombard Renewable Energy.


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