Featured Object

In each issue, the bimonthly DAR magazine, American Spirit, highlights an object from the DAR Museum collection in its "National Treasures" feature. These objects, often recent accessions or important pieces in the current exhibit, always have a story to tell about American history.

National Treasures

Something Borrowed

The DAR Museum has an impressive collection of wedding attire, including wedding dresses worn by three generations of one Philadelphia family. On Mary Emma Funk Radcliffe’s wedding day in 1882, she wore a white satin bustle skirt and bodice (left). Wearing white for your wedding didn’t become a common cultural ideal in America until the second half of the 19th century. Queen Victoria of England was credited with setting the style for white, but white had already become the custom for bridal attire among the English aristocracy in the 18th century.

Mary Emma’s daughter, Sarah Cunningham Radcliffe MacKay, reflected the fashion of the time in her 1914 dress and veil (center). The 1942 white rayon satin dress worn by Jean Radcliffe MacKay Christie was accompanied by a veil and “Juliet cap” made with lace taken from her mother’s 1914 wedding dress. The recycling of dresses and veils was a common practice then, and many brides today still enjoy adopting family heirlooms into their own wedding attire.

The dresses were the gift of Mr. James W. Christie III, Mr. Stuart R. Christie and Mr. John M. Christie.

American Spirit, Volume 141, No. 3, May/June 2007, Page 15
Photo by Mark Gulezian/QuickSilver

More National Treasures

Sitting Pretty

To the Rescue

Strange Brew

Tayloe Family Ties

Ornamental Trio

Reviving the Stone

A Record to Remember

Strong Set

Fashion Flashback

Let's Go Ride a Bike


Isn't It Romantic

A Rockin' Good Toy

The Mystery of Mother and Child

Keep Cool

Dress for the Ages

Historical Register

Banjo Time

Getting Warmer

Virginia Map Quest

Serve It Up

Greatest Toy on Earth

Dress for the Day

Boston Uncommon

A Teapot to Revere

Seats of Honor

Birthday Threads


Play On

Top Drawer

Burning Bright

Seated in Revolution

Something to Crow About

Sister Stitch

Tea Time

Capturing Cherubs

A Link to the Past

Brushes with Fame

Supper Is Served

Stately Seats

Heirloom High Chest

Making Beautiful Music

Forged From Fire

For Madame's Trousseau

Let It Out

Heavenly Harmonies

Priceless Pooch

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