New First Ladies Exhibit

Beebe Inaugural Gown

An inaugural gown worn by former First Lady of Arkansas Ginger Beebe, a longtime Searcy resident, will be included in Old State House Museum’s grand reopening of its exhibit, “First Ladies of Arkansas: Women of Their Times.”

The opening will be September 14, 5-8 p.m.; admission is free. The exhibit is a permanent installation at the museum.

Ginger Beebe (b. 1949) is married to Gov. Mickey Dale (Mike) Beebe, who served from 2007-2015. Ginger married Mike Beebe in 1979. She volunteered for numerous organizations and was a founding member of the CARTI Foundation in Searcy. Ginger served on the board of directors at the White County Rape Crisis Center.

As the First Lady of Arkansas, Beebe championed Arkansas artists, promoted literacy and advocated for families of those suffering from mental illness. She served on the boards of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, and continued to serve on the CARTI Foundation board.

“First Ladies of Arkansas: Women of their Times” explores the lives and accomplishments of governor’s wives throughout Arkansas’s history and contains the largest exhibition of first ladies’ gowns outside the Smithsonian.

The gowns on exhibit include some of the dresses that recently went through a significant conservation process. The museum received an Outstanding Conservation Work Award from the Arkansas Museum Association in 2017 for efforts in conserving and preserving these gowns.

The newly-renovated exhibit also includes video interviews with many of Arkansas’s  first ladies detailing their accomplishments and efforts during their time as First Lady of Arkansas.

Gowns in the exhibit include those worn by Susan Hutchinson, Ginger Beebe, Barbara Pryor, Hillary Clinton, Mabel Martineau, Elizabeth Little, Ewilda Robinson, Anne McMath, Betty Tucker, Gay White, Jeannette Rockefeller, Alta Faubus, Anne Brough, Betty Bumpers, Janet Huckabee, Margaret Cherry and Eula Terral.

The Old State House Museum is located at 300 W. Markham in Little Rock. Admission is free and open to the public; the museum can validate parking at the DoubleTree hotel. Metered marking near the museum is free on weekends and after 6 p.m. on weekdays. For more information, call (501) 324-9685 or visit www.oldstatehouse.com.

The Old State House Museum is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and shares the goal of all eight Department of Arkansas Heritage divisions, that of preserving and enhancing the heritage of the state of Arkansas. The divisions are Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Old State House Museum.

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