Women of the White House: A glimpse into the world of America's first ladies through portraits

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A new portrait exhibition provides a revealing glimpse into the world of America's first ladies. A portrait of former-first lady Michelle Obama, from 2018 (Portrait: Amy Sherald)
A new portrait exhibition provides a revealing glimpse into the world of America's first ladies. A portrait of former-first lady Michelle Obama, from 2018 (Portrait: Amy Sherald)

"A woman's public role is to sit beside her husband, be silent and be sure her hat is on straight," former US first lady Bess Truman once said.

Hardly the kind of quote today’s Instagram generation would seize on – but there was another side to Bess, wife of Harry S Truman.

Behind the scenes she was nicknamed The Boss and wrote many of her husband’s speeches during his White House years between 1945 and 1953.

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