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Dress fragment: Laura Keene

James Swanson’s private collection

Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre

This bloodied silk dress fragment is from Laura Keene’s stage costume. The pleasant floral pattern contrasts with its status as a relic of tragedy. As Keene cradled the president’s head, her dress became stained with his blood. Had it not been for the assassination, Laura Keene probably would have worn this dress for another production. However, unable to bear the memories it carried, she exiled the dress to the care of her family.

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Details

  • Title: Dress fragment: Laura Keene
  • Creator: James Swanson’s private collection

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