from : http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucretia_Garfield : “Library of Congress description: "Garfield, Mrs. James, wife of President Garfield" Source Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection. Date: between 1870 and 1880 Author Mathew Brady or Levin Handy”
From the Smithsonian Institution: from the National Museum of American History: Back view, “Lucretia Garfield wore this gown to the 1881 inaugural ball. The gown's original color was a delicate lavender. It was dyed with fuschine, a light-sensitive synthetic dye that faded to oyster white. “
Front view, from the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System
It’s 1881, she is slim, dark haired and 48 years old. I would have loved to see this in the original lavender. The back is stunning. The front of the dress is overly complex by today‘s standards, a bit like a wedding cake, but in 1881, that was the style. The monochrmatic range saves it from being overwhelming. As I have said before, I am a fan of this era. A-.