Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on Alibris.com and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Translate

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory
Her Grace wishes us all a Merry Christmas!

Annabelle

Annabelle

Emma Emmeline

Emma Emmeline
Our New Addition/fond of stuffed toys

Cloth Clown

Cloth Clown

Native American Art

Native American Art

the triplets

the triplets

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby
Bought Athens on the street

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Sand Baby Swirls!

Sand Baby Swirls!
By Glenda Rolle, courtesy, the Artist

Glenda's Logo

Glenda's Logo
Also, a link to her site

Sand Baby Castaway

Sand Baby Castaway
By Glenda Rolle, Courtesy the Artist

A French Friend

A French Friend

Mickey

Mickey
From our friends at The Fennimore Museum

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll
British Museum, Child's Tomb

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll
Among first "Toys?"

ushabti

ushabti
Egyptian Tomb Doll 18th Dynasty

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Popular Posts

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase
Courtesy, Antique Daughter

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

Follow by Email

Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

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Jenny Wren

Jenny Wren
Ultimate Doll Restorer

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Baby Boo 1960s

Baby Boo 1960s
Reclaimed and Restored as a childhood Sabrina the Witch with Meow Meow

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum
L to R: K*R /celluloid head, all bisque Artist Googly, 14 in. vinyl inuit sixties, early celluloid Skookum type.

Two More Rescued Dolls

Two More Rescued Dolls
Late Sixties Vinyl: L to R: Probably Horseman, all vinyl, jointed. New wig. R: Effanbee, probably Muffy, mid sixties. New wig and new clothing on both. About 12 inches high.

Restored Italian Baby Doll

Restored Italian Baby Doll
One of Dr. E's Rescued Residents

Dolls on Display

Dolls on Display
L to R: Nutcrackers, Danish Troll, HItty and her book, Patent Washable, Mechanical Minstrel, Creche figure, M. Alexander Swiss. Center is a German mechanical bear on the piano. Background is a bisque German costume doll.

A Few Friends

A Few Friends
These dolls are Old German and Nutcrackers from Dr. E's Museum. They are on loan to another local museum for the holidays.

Vintage Collage

Vintage Collage
Public Domain Art

The Merry Wanderer

The Merry Wanderer
Courtesy R. John Wright, The Hummel Collection

The Fennimore Doll Museum

The Fennimore Doll Museum

Robert

Robert
A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

The Cody Jumeau

The Cody Jumeau
Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

German Princesses

German Princesses
GAHC 2005

A Little PowerRanger

A Little PowerRanger
Halloween 2004

The Island of the Dolls

The Island of the Dolls
Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death
Doll House murder

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A lovely dress

A lovely dress

Raggedy Ann

Raggedy Ann
A few friends in cloth!

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI
Pixar Animator's Collection

Little PM sisters

Little PM sisters
Recent eBay finds

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Really old Dolls!

Really old Dolls!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

American Doll and Toy Museum: Musings on Museum Movings

American Doll and Toy Museum: Musings on Museum Movings:   Musings on Museum Movings   Yesterday finished cleaning and emptying the old museum.   I will miss that space, cozy and in the hub of ...

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Museum Musings

 Here are some notes to let you all know I'm still alive.  We had a death in the family in June, devastating and unexpected.  We lost my Aunt Connie, really the last family left to me outside  of 4 cousins.  I have distant relatives in Europe and Australia, but no one I ever hear from, or even know. As her trustee and executor, I've had my hands full, along with everything else, including the doll museum.  I have to vacate my current rental property, and the task is herculean. 


It hasn't been good to say the least.  But, we are moving forward, and this museum will my focus for the next few months.  I hope all of you are safe; we are here for now.  For everyone, pray this all ends and there are no more viruses, pandemics, public service announcements or elections to plague us.


Here are some photos for you to enjoy.  Thinking outside the Doll House should be published soon.  I've suspended Etsy sales till Sept. 1 to give me time to organize and move, but we will have more fun things available.

Is we have doll shows, I'll let you know which one's we will attend, and keep you advised of upcoming programs and podcasts.    My other books are available on Amazon.com as eBooks, free with Kindle Unlimited.

Happy collecting, and be safe.  I see doll sightings everywhere, including on Medium with Patricia Arquette, where her family was turned into doll house dolls in a doll house that mirrored their life sized home.  My Avon china head also appeared on Roseanne in Jackie's apartment.







Sunday, July 12, 2020

Doll Snobs Stay Home!

We’re no Doll Snobs




As we all continue to face Covid19 challenges and life challenges in general, we find ways to move on.  For us at American Doll & Toy Museum, it means literally moving to our new building, the former 30/31 Branch Library.

I admit I have my hands full; nothing moves as quickly as we’d like.  I’m paying more rent for the current building than I thought, but I don’t mind because I have great landlords and a good location.  The challenge is packing, and not having anywhere to stack boxes that are packed up.  I try to work them into the doll landscape, so to speak, but I’m open only by appointment now, till late summer or early fall when we’ll open our new larger location.

Dolls and toys seem to crawl out of the woodwork at home, but it’s a nice problem to have.  All this gives me time to look at the dolls and toys, and to ponder.  

It occurs to me that we do represent playthings from prehistory to now.  We have everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, and while we are probably not the largest doll collection in the world, we come close.  Dolls are humanities historians, as are the toys that reside with them.  We have examples representing Neanderthal goddess figures, to the current dolls on the market.  Many of our residents are museum pieces, but others are beloved examples from my childhood and my friends’ childhood.

We’ve had wonderful people donate their treasures to us for safekeeping; we don’t sell our donations, by the way.  What I sell in my Etsy store and in our modest gift shop are items I have made, or bought especially for the museum.  Their sale helps to keep us going.


















We have kept the faith and a light on in our doll house windows, though we were forced to close nearly four months after we opened.  We will keep going.  This has been my dream and passion since age 4, can’t give up now.

I enjoy all kinds of dolls and toys.  I have always been eclectic in my taste, and the same is true of my collecting.   Every toy tells a story; a museum should represent all those stories, not just one.  We enjoy our French bisques and German characters, our 1860 rubber doll, our  Liberty of London Henry VIII and his wives, but we also love our Barbies, vintage to current, our Frozen Charlottes, our dime
store plastic babies from the sixties, homemade wrecks, well loved plush, and even Living Dead Dolls and My Little Pony friends.

Too many doll diva arias spoil the hobby.  It’s bad enough we have this creepy doll garbage floating around. We don’t have to do it to ourselves. I get turned off by hearing once too often that someone who collects dolls isn’t interested in other’s collections because they don’t collect that type of doll. You don’t have to own it to educate yourself in the hobby, or be aware of what others like.  

You don’t have to disrespect what someone else enjoys.  That’s just cruel.  If someone likes midcentury mass produced bisque dolls in frilly outfits, that’s his/her call.  If another collector likes Gene, or bean bag plush, or played with Barbies dressed in home made outfits, that also his/her call.   Were I forced to specialize, I would center on antiques, especially French fashion, metal heads, and international costume dolls, but it would be a hard choice.  

If I had too much of one type of doll or toy, I’d be bored.  I’d have what Helen Young, noted doll author and artist would call, an accumulation.  My dolls don’t bore me.  My toys and the books connected with them intrigue me.  

So, as we move forward, we hope to have stir happy childhood memories, and to share our collection with kids “from one to ninety two.”  We hope to teach about the cultures in our community, and about the cultures of all the people of the world.  We hope to inspire others to study and to collect, and we invite everyone to use our many books for their research, too.

Our admission will be modest, and will be waived for certain holidays.  We will also host programs, and classes on dolls and toys open to the public.  We will partner with other businesses and nonprofits, too.  So stay tuned, we’re just about to wind our music box up, and we plan to play a very long tune!!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Saturday, June 13, 2020

World Doll Day!

Once again we celebrate this notable day in doll collecting.  How did you spend your day?  I checked on American Doll & Toy Museum; we are nearly ready to move into our new facility, much larger with more room for our displays and gift shop.

I attended to great estate sales with more finds for the collection.  I have been rearranging dolls, washing clothes, and repairing those that need help.

We've had a rough year as a nonprofit; we opened on Small Business Saturday, and had to close almost three months later, right after our building was blessed.

I opened an Etsy store, Dr. E's Toy Museum, to help with rent and costs.  I am still blogging and writing, and reviewed the first set of proofs for my next book being published, Thinking outside the Doll House; A  Memoir.

We weathered some violent protests, COVID 19, and a serious family medical crisis, but it's all behind us now.  I'm exhausted, and bloodied but unbowed.  We will open ; we will survive!

Check us out on our other blogs, some in Japanese, Greek, German, and the International Doll Museum Blog, published in different languages.

I'd love to  hear your stories of doll collecting, and would love to post you pictures.

Happy Collecting!

Great Birthday Gift from a Friend

Ready to Open safely; we are up and Running
Estate Sale Finds

Flag Day Window

New Building

New Building

New Building

Gift Shop Merchandise

Estate Sale Find

Estate Sale Find

Current Museum