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National Portrait Gallery Honors Nancy Reagan; Funeral Is Friday

Two women look at a portrait of Nancy Reagan hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

toggle caption Susan Walsh/AP

Two women look at a portrait of Nancy Reagan hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

Susan Walsh/AP

Reagan Red is on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, which is honoring Nancy Reagan, who died on Sunday at age 94.

The era of Reagan Red began when her husband Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th U.S. president in 1981.

"Mrs. Reagan's ensemble that day was in that particular shade of scarlet that would from that moment on be known as Reagan Red," Town & Country magazine reports.

The stylish former first lady was often photographed wearing that color – red dresses, red gowns, red suits and red coats.

In the National Portrait Gallery's In Memoriam gallery, a portrait by the late artist Aaron Shikler depicts the first lady standing casually while wearing a red dress.

The portrait, which dates from 1984-85, was featured on the cover of Time on Jan. 14, 1985.

The magazine donated the portrait to the Smithsonian, which will be on display to the public through March 28.

Shikler, who died last year, also painted a portrait of Reagan in a red gown that hangs at the White House.

A funeral for the former first lady will be held on Friday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., according to Monday's announcement by the Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library.

The White House announced that first lady Michelle Obama will be among those attending the private funeral.

In addition, President Obama ordered flags flown at half-staff.

Prior to the funeral, Nancy Reagan will lie in repose for public visitation on Wednesday and Thursday, the foundation said.

After Friday's funeral, she will be buried next to her husband at the library.

Ronald Reagan died in 2004 at age 93.

Even though the Reagan Library closed after Nancy Reagan's death was announced, mourners congregated outside the building to pay their respects.

Julia Berman of Westlake Village, Calif., told the Los Angeles Times that she admired Nancy Reagan's "elegance and social graces" – adding, "She wore that Reagan Red so well."

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