Object of the Day

Pearl Gray Chiffon and Beaded Gown, 1969

Worn By Ima Mae Smith

Ima Mae Smith was born in Jack County and later moved to Ralls, Texas. She attended Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas where she met Preston Smith. They were married in 1935 and settled in Lubbock.  Her husband, Preston Smith served as a State Representative for six years, a State Senator for six years, the Lieutenant Governor for six years, and Governor of Texas for four years starting in 1969.

This gown was worn for the inaugural ball in 1969. It is made with pearl gray chiffon and is empire styled featuring a jeweled covered bodice with crystal tulip beads, iridescent sequins and looped crystal beaded fringe.  Helen Rose, who won several awards including two Academy Awards for best costume design, and made famous wedding dresses such as ones for Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, was the designer of this dress.

Photo Courtesy of Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Ima Mae Smith’s community work included the Methodist Hospital Auxiliary, the Women’s Organization of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, the Lubbock Country Club, Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Alumnae, and the St. John’s United Methodist Church. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumnae Award from Texas Tech University.

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