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Jackie Kennedy style exhibit opens May 1 at Met


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Forty years after Jacqueline Kennedy first captivated the world as America's first lady, an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will showcase her ongoing influence on international style.

"Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years," which opens May 1, features about 80 original outfits and accessories from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

"It is quite appropriate that the Metropolitan, an institution with which Jacqueline Kennedy enjoyed profoundly close ties, should commemorate the timeless impact of her extraordinary and unforgettable grace and style," museum director Philippe de Montebello said.

Learn more about the exhibit

The 10-gallery exhibition includes clothes she wore during the 1960 presidential campaign, in the White House and on state visits abroad.

"What we've tried to do in the exhibition is to reveal something more of Jackie's role as first lady through the clothing," creative consultant Hamish Bowles told CNN.

Among the highlights are the fawn coat and pillbox hat she wore during the inaugural ceremony, the ivory satin gown she chose for the inaugural gala, a red dress she wore during a 1962 televised White House tour, and formal evening gowns the first lady chose for state dinners and other major events.

"She had a very acute sense of her image as first lady and how she wanted to use her image to promote her husband's administration and his ideals," Bowles said.

More than just clothes

Along with the clothing are documents and items related to her work on White House restoration, historic preservation and the arts.

Jacqueline Kennedy designed the gown she wore to the 1961 inauguration  

At a preview of the exhibition Monday, daughter Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg noted how her parents celebrated arts and letters and encouraged Americans to take pride in their artistic and political heritage.

"For me and for those who knew my mother, she was always be a part of us, and of our lives, and she will always grace the history she helped to make," she said. "With her own sense of style, she interpreted these values and represented President Kennedy and America in a way that captured the world and still does."

The exhibition continues at the Metropolitan through July 29 before moving to the Kennedy Library and Museum, where it opens September 15. It will be presented next year at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, as she was known after she remarried, died in 1994.

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Metropolitan Museum
John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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