Summer Dress

Visitors to the White House of the Confederacy in the summer months will see an array of summertime artifacts:  parasols, delicate white gloves, ladies’ fans, palmetto and straw hats and other accessories can be found throughout the house.  In the West Parlor and Library (pictured left), the upholstered furniture is covered in cotton ticking, which is what people of the time period would have done to protect the silk upholstery from sweat and insects.  Visitors will also see mosquito netting hung over the beds on the second floor the way the Davises would have done (pictured right).

Although we do not do this today in the restored house, they also would have covered gilt-framed objects such as mirrors and paintings in the same kind of mosquito netting—this protected the wood from burrowing insects and the gilt atop the wood from flies that would have otherwise left black marks on the surface of the gilt.  The windows would have been open to let breezes in to cool the house down, and the carpets would have been taken up and replaced with straw matting. 
 

Generally, summer dress is on exhibit from May through September, though there are no set dates of display. You can also see what kinds of items are displayed during the winter months and Christmas season. If you are planning a visit to the White House and want to know what will be on display, please contact the Museum prior to your visit and we will do our best to answer your questions.