L-R: Jacqueline Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, Bess Truman, Pat Nixon. [LBJ Library photo #DIG13515-002 by Lauren Gerson]

Dolls from the “First Ladies Collection” series by Madame Alexander on display at LBJ Library

May 28, 2013

Media Contact:  Anne Wheeler
               [email protected]
              (512) 721-0216
               Photo Credit: LBJ Library Photo by Lauren Gerson
What:    25 dolls displayed in the Library’s Great Hall
               All 38 dolls in the collection may be viewed on the Library’s app, available in the iTunes store
When:   May 21 through November 24, 2013
Details:  http://www.lbjlibrary.org/exhibits/first-ladies-collection-by-madame-alexander

(Austin) – During the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, the Alexander Doll Company issued the first six dolls in the “First Ladies Collection” series. The dolls represent the First Lady or First Hostess of the White House. The designers based the First Ladies' clothing on gowns worn by the First Lady for the inauguration or other events during the Presidency. It has become tradition for the First Ladies to donate their first inaugural gown to the Smithsonian.

The LBJ Library’s "First Ladies Collection” consists of 38 handcrafted dolls – from Martha Washington to Pat Nixon. Each doll is identified with a label and the dates she served as First Lady or First Hostess.

Currently, 25 dolls are being displayed in the Great Hall of the LBJ Library. The Lady Bird Johnson doll shows her in her 1965 inauguration gown and coat. The entire "First Ladies Collection" can be viewed on the LBJ app for iPhone and iPad, available in the iTunes store.

Madame Alexander dolls are made by the Alexander Doll Company, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. The Company was founded by "Madame" Beatrice Alexander (1895 – 1990). The dolls often depict literary, historical, and international figures and cultures. The dolls continue to be a celebrated brand among doll collectors and loved by children.

In 2007, the “First Ladies Collection” was graciously donated to the LBJ Library by Mrs. Fred Geisendorff.