Flapper, yes sir, one of those | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 12, 2009

Flapper, yes sir, one of those

Posted By on Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 10:54 AM

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Just because it interested me: The Old State House Museum announces a $1,000 gift to restore the inaugural gown worn by First Lady Mabel Claire Martineau in 1927. A dress shipped in from Gay Paree by M.M. Cohn. Flapper style.

Check out the museum's gown collection right here.

I'd say Mrs. Martineau's holds up pretty well despite the passage of 80 years.

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Old State House Museum is pleased to receive a donation of $1,000 from the Pinnacle Chapter of Questers International to aid in the restoration and conservation of the inaugural gown of Arkansas first lady Mabel Claire Martineau. The gown, imported from Paris by M.M. Cohn of Little Rock, is highly evocative of the “flapper” style of women’s fashion popular in the 1920s. It is fashioned from apricot-colored silk and velvet and studded with rhinestones and beads. Mabel Martineau wore the gown at the inaugural ball of her husband, Arkansas Governor John E. Martineau, in 1927. Conservation work on the gown will include repairing small tears in the fabric and reinforcing weakened seams that have frayed.

The Old State House Museum’s collection of the inaugural gowns of Arkansas governors' wives is one of the largest, most comprehensive collections of gowns in the country. The collection dates back to 1889, and includes the original inaugural gown of nearly every Arkansas first lady since. The museum began collecting the first ladies’ gowns in the 1940s and first exhibited them in 1955. The collection is one of the museum’s most popular exhibits and is always available for the public to view, except for occasional conservation work and exhibit updates. The gown collection can be seen online at www.oldstatehouse.com/collections/first-ladies-gowns/.


Questers International is a civic organization devoted to the research and study of antiques, and encourages the preservation, restoration and conservation of historic buildings, sites and antiquities. Founded in 1944, it includes over 15,000 members organized into more than 900 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.  The Pinnacle chapter, one of several Questers groups in Arkansas, was formed in 1992.


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