Portraits of First Ladies & Official Hostesses of Maryland
from the State Collection


[photograph of a drawing of Mrs. Glendening]

We are pleased to present an exhibit featuring portraits of Maryland's First Ladies and Official Hostesses in honor of Women's History month. The exhibit is a tribute to the women who have made an important, but often overlooked, contribution to the history of Maryland.

There are thirteen portraits of First Ladies and Official Hostesses owned by the State, all of which are on display in the public rooms of Government House. They encompass Maryland's gubernatorial history from the eighteenth century to the present, from Priscilla Dorsey Ridgely, wife of Governor Charles Ridgely, (1816-1819), to Hilda Mae Snoops, Official Hostess for Governor William Donald Schaefer (1987-1995). They come from the collections of the Maryland Commission on Artistic Property of the Maryland State Archives. They were acquired as gifts from various civic groups and private citizens and as commissions paid for by state appropriations.

Included in the exhibit is the full-length portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria that hangs in the entrance Hall in recognition of her important association with the founding of our state which was named in her honor.

As you will discover, this exhibit is far from complete. There are many women who, over the years, have lived and worked in this house whose images are missing. We welcome additional biographical information about them and encourage gifts or loans of their portraits and photographs. They deserve to be better known and their lives celebrated. We see this exhibit as merely the beginning of what we hope will be an ongoing and growing tribute to those who made the Governor's residence a welcome place to visit and an integral part of the public life of the capital city.

Frances Hughes Glendening
March 1995

The Entrance Hall The Library The Reception Room The Parlor The Stairwell

The Conservatory

click here for Ceremonies and Mrs. Glendening's Remarks

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Copyright December 26, 1996 Maryland State Archives