The First Lady’s Hemline

When it came time for Mrs. Caufield to have her portrait painted to commemorate her time as hostess of the Mansion, she knew exactly how she wanted to be remembered.  She wore her sleeveless, aquamarine dress with the scoop neck and a hemline just above the knees—a high fashion item for “Flappers” in the 1920s.

But time and styles changed.  When the former First Lady visited the Mansion years later, she was embarrassed by her knees being so prominently displayed during a time when lower hemlines were in vogue.  The thought of someone being offended by the exposure cause, Mrs. Caufield to call on the artist to “lengthen” her dress with a paint brush. 

Today, the touched-up painting hangs in the Mansion library where amused visitors often search for a faint view of the telltale hemline.