Tuesday, April 30, 2013
To my friend, Mary, who always said she was almost a May Queen. Her birthday was today, and she would have been 95 years old or so. But, age never mattered to us. She and I wrote each other about two letters per month for 14 years. I have all of them; when I'm really down, I like to reread them. She was a mulitalented person who know dolls and art, law, literature, writing, journalism, and history. She loved Elvis, and she played soccer into her sixties. I miss her more and more as the years go by. I hope she is with my mother, somewhere, talking about dolls, and collecting, and maybe a little about me. For everyone who has loved and lost someone they love, I write this blog for you.
Monday, April 29, 2013
We have a new follower and are now 18 strong, and close to 32,000 reader/viewers. I am very grateful for your support. Feel free to comment any time; is there a story or doll you would like to see featured? Do you have photos for us to post or ID? Do you have ideas for museum exhibits? Is there something else you would like to see researched? Please let us know; we are eager to please and love our readers. It has been a very difficult month for those of us at The Museum. We have been very dicouraged, and had recurring nightmares of the giant dumpster coming for us. We keep at it when se see little bursts of faith coming through. The book on metal dolls is nearly finished, after all this time and many stops and starts. I will post it, and try to get it on kindle with a free offer for a trial period. I would love to read reviews! With love to all, Dr. E
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Our Wildest Dream: A True Crime Blog of Filmmaking: Fan Letters for Frances Glessner Lee: While researching some recently unearthed Frances Glessner Lee's files, we came across some gems. Like this folder of fan mail to Fran...
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Here are some sources I recently discovered in working on a class project involving toys. "Edison Talking Dolls." www.ediontinfoil.com/doll.htm- Lady Margritte of Ravenscroft. "Toys in the Middle Ages." Stefan's Florilegium. www.florilegium.org/files/CHILDREN/Toys-in-the-MA-art.text Olleranshwa, India. Medieival Dolls. aelflaed.homemail.com.au/doco/dolls.html Stefan's Florilegium. www.florilegium.org
Doll Museum: Ancient, Medieval, and Unusual Dolls Revisited: I am researching dolls again, for my upcoming book, but also for a project we do in class. I will post links of some of the articles i ...
Monday, April 15, 2013
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Every few years we revisit the pointless story that a real woman with a Barbie doll body would look funny. I didn't get their proportions, but I've known plenty of woman who, within their own perpsective and proporations, did look like Barbie at varous stage of her life. Bubble cut barbie was may favorite, becaue she looked like my mother did in those days. And, it was all about the clothes and the many friends for me. I post the story, but I think it's silly. Take a look a the proportions of the now coveted French Fashion dolls, especially those with the gussetted leather bodies or stockinette bodies. No one really looked like that, either. :) Follow: Body Image, Real-Life Barbie, Barbie, Barbie Body, Barbie In Real Life, Barbie Vs. Real Women, Barbie's Body, Barbie's Real Body, Barbies, Barbies Infographic, Negative Body Image, Women Body Image, Young Women Body Image Issues, Women News At this point, it's common knowledge that Barbie's body isn't the most realistic. But what would it actually look like if the famous Mattel doll was a real woman? That's what Rehabs.com set out to find out. The search engine for locating mental health treatment centers put together an infographic using data from the 1996 study "Ken and Barbie At Life Size," which was originally published in the academic journal Sex Roles. The graphic compares the proportions of a Barbie's body to the body of the average American woman as well as the average model and the average anorexic woman. Some of the numbers are quite striking. While Barbie's head would be two inches larger than the average U.S. woman's, her waist would be 19 inches smaller and her hips would be 11 inches smaller. Since her waist would be four inches thinner than her head, Barbie's body wouldn't have the room it needs to hold all of its vital organs, and her uber-skinny ankles and child-size feet would make it necessary for her to walk on all fours. The infographic was created as part of a larger report on body hatred among young women. And although January 2013 research showed that peer influence may impact body image even more than pop culture, it's never bad to be reminded just how unrealistic the bodies of the dolls you grew up playing with are. LOOK: How A Barbie Body Measures Up To Real Bodies
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Recently, I was able to bid and win a library of 13 vintage doll books, including all five of Pat Smith's Modern Collector's Dolls series, and the two volume hard bound series of Antique Dolls. There was a Coleman, Collectors' Book of Doll Clothes, and Carl Fox's, The Doll. Also, Westphal's doll repair book, and two books on making dolls, and Seeley's Doll Collecting for Fun and Profit. They were all in mint shape, and some had fliers for doll shows long ago, and tidbits of information. My husband posted the silent auction bid, and I didn't think I had won, but I did! Below, I will post Stuart's ten favortie dolls from the Ackerman auction. This is not an ad for the auction house at all; I am reposting his comments on the dolls. Photos won't show, but you can check online for the bid number. They are very unusual, and I like that he includes his five year old daughter and lets her browse through the catalog. I started "seriously" collecting at age 3, and by age 7 was reading John Noble and Helen Young on dolls. One is never to old to start collecting and appreciating dolls, I say. So, I'm posting this as more information for collectors. Would love to hear from anyone familiar with automatons, or who loves the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret or the film Hugo. I have a project coming up. We also, as lovers of metal dolls, say prayer and remember The Iron Lady herself, Margaret Thatcher. She was someone we at The Museum Admire very much. I have a pewter necklace I like to wear with a saying attributed to her: " I can be very patient as long as I have my way in the end." Evelyn Ackerman was a personal friend for a number of years. I spent many an afternoon with her and Jerry in their lovely home in Culver City, CA surrounded by her own designs which I became so fond of, as well as the doll collection that mingled so well. It was a perfect environment for me in juxtaposing two of the things I love so much: Contemporary Design and Dolls. As such, I thought I would share a few of my favorite things from Evelyns collection that will be featured this weekend at our grand Los Angeles auction event. I have been very fortunate with doll finds lately, though I've not really looked for them. Several good foreign dolls from Antigua, Guatemala, Mexico, China, and Japan have turned up at antique stores and Goodwills. We added a set of childrens transferware to the museum, and a funny folk pencil with a doll head carved on the end; her spiky hair stands up all over. I found two bags for less than a dollar each of vintage 60s and 70s small dolls from Kamar and Ideal, in great shape, and a vintage #5 Barbie and First Midge in the red case complete with all sorts of Barbie labelled clothing, too, and a small German Bisque with a lovely paler complextion and sleep eyes. She was almost new, but with original clothing and shoes. Her wig may be a vintage replacement. I have enjoyed finding English tins with children and golliwogs, and a few all bisque dolls in unexpected places. I hope spring doll hunts are as fruitful for everyone out there. From Theriault's: Lot 7... So old in so many ways! I bet they have a few stories to tell. Or, maybe not, as I imagine life was a simple affair for this couple. The details are remarkable in the sculpting when you consider just how tiny they are. Lot 200... Well, its my daughter Kinleys favorite - so it has to be one of mine. As we would look through the catalog it was this piece that she kept coming back to over and over and creating some imaginative scene that only a 5-year old could conjure up. Isnt that point though? So much today leaves the imagination to the creation rather than the child. What is so beautiful about vignettes like this is that it presents a canvas to a child - or to a collector - in which the fantasies can be endless. Lot 134... A doll I oftentimes commented to Evelyn about in how I admired the emotions the face contained. Sad and somewhat withdrawn - but stoic still. To me, for a doll so early, the original finish, albeit worn, is part of the charm. Lot 224... A fetching whimsical toy that provides the collectors eye with every joy that is childhood: horses, dolls, fantasy, parade. It is a wonderfully happy piece. Lot 242... I used to joke with Evelyn that he looks like a player. I can almost hear this elegant man whispering to a lady; Would you like to come upstairs to see my etchings? Lot 293... As a young boy I used to dream of growing up and having my very own train or caravan that I lived on and would take me all over the country. It would be elegantly appointed and my traveling home. I think it came from watching too many episodes of Wild Wild West! This piece kind of reminds me of that and, as a result, brings a smile to my face as I peer inside. I think I could do without the sewing machine though! Lot 42... I feel that the Porcelain Rohmer has yet to truly develop the appreciation and following that it deserves. I love how they are so easily recognized with such a distinctive face and design. This example is one of the nicest you could find with such a complete and wonderfully assembled Trousseau. Lot 17... Oh, that hat!!!! Lot 29... The H, for me, is still the consummate classic Bebe. It has all the lines and look of the traditional bebe face while giving us the distinctive characteristic of the H model that is so easily identifiable. There is nothing quite like it. For me, this is a must-have example for the collector of small bebes has so few of the H model ever appear in this size. Lot 185... A completely sentimental pick for my favorite item. This dome and assemblage sat alone atop a mid-century contemporary sideboard that graced the living room of the Ackerman home. Every visit meant a peek inside as it seemed to represent for me all that Evelyn loved in dolls. Its loving placement will forever be etched in my memory. To see all of the lots in the auction "Small Courtesies", click here. To order the auction catalog, Small Courtesies click here. For more details about the auction, click here.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Dolls are Indeed where you Find them! The Stuffed Bunny that survived The Holocaust and Robotic Patients on Sunday AM
First, Kudos to our friend Sanra Morris who has maintained a successful blog for at least seven years. Blogging is one of the joys of my life, bad hand and all. I ahve had over 50,000 viewers/readers on my 8 blogs, and I am thrilled and care about all of them. Thanks so much. In part, this blog is a tribute to my friend and pen pal, the late Mary Hillier, who would have been around 96 on April 30th, "almost a May Queen," she used to say. "Dolls are where you find them" was her motto. She helped me a lot in my research on dolls, but also on my dissertation. I miss her everyday, and it is a thrill for me to open a doll book and find one of her articles in it, or to browse again through one of her books. True to form, there were two doll related stories yesterday on Sunday Morning, cbs.com. You can find stories and archives at the site. One was on the use of robotic patients in hosptial to train med students. I thought of the Chase hospital dolls and Resusca Annie that we used in junior high CPR classes. How I'd love to have one of these new robots for the museum! So, in a way, doll like objects are saving peoples' lives and improving their health, again, cf Crash Test Dummies. The second story was poignant. A woman who was a toddler sent to a concentration camp is donating her favorite bunny to the Holocaust Museum in DC. Prisoners in the camp made the bunny for her; it looks like it is made of rags or old socks. It is very poignant and pathetic, and a testament to the need for children to play even in the worst conditions. I have seen pictures of toys little children made in the camps, and drawings of their games. I have also seen piles of dolls in Schindlers List, taken from children sent to die in the gas chambers. The little bunny is headed to the museum because her owner fears after her death, and her children's deaths, the bunny may disappear from history. This way, it is another piece of valuable evidence to prove the horrific events of The Holocaust. Survivors are disappearing themselves every day, and there are those who dare to say it never happened. This little bunny helps to emphasize the battle cry of those who witnessed the horros of WWII, those Holocaust survivors, and survivors of other atrocites commited by other survivors like my late mother, who was trapped as an American child in Occupied Greece. "Never Forget," and this little toy rabbit shouts it out for the million or so children who could not come back.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Debut novel fictionalizes the lost great river village of Parkhurst, Iowa Thank you to the incomparable Dr. Ellen for allowing me to share some thoughts about the historical research behind my debut novel, Her Kind, released last month by 918studio. Her Kind is a fictional account of the settlement of the real-life, lost great river village of Parkhurst, Ia., now part of Le Claire (voted one of the “2013 coolest small towns in America” by BudgetTravel). LeClaire historian, Dorothy Lage, first chronicled a narrative history of this eclectic river town with her self-published manuscript, LeClaire, Iowa: A Mississippi River Town (1976). In it, she characterized the attractiveness and functionality of Pau-pesha-tuk, the agitated waters of the big river, a series of rapids that drew some of Iowa’s first settlers after the Blackhawk Treaty of 1832, and later rapids pilots before the lock and dam system tamed this tumultuous stretch of river. The diverse blend of cultures, personalities and vocations led to the establishment of an even earlier set of communities that thrived along this unique stretch of the big river border of LeClaire Township, Scott County, Ia. Lage’s interpretation of the LeClaire oral histories said Eleazor Parkhurst, Iowa immigrant and native of Massachusetts, crossed the river and arrived in Iowa in 1834 from Port Byron, Ill. (est. 1828), and purchased an existing log cabin and 180-acre land claim on the Iowa side of the big river that had been built earlier that year by George Harlan. See this home on LeClaire’s River Pilots Self-Guided Tour. Although reports differ, Parkhurst had arrived to a community of somewhere between 500-1000 Sac natives that resided along this stretch of the river after relocation from their Illinois village of Saukenuk under President Jackson’s 1830 Indian Removal Act. Prior to the Homestead Act of 1862, that clarified property claim rights in the new states and territories, earlier land acquisition claims in the LeClaire area of the Iowa district of the Wisconsin Territory were handled by the Dubuque land office. Parkhurst extended his Iowa land grant west and north along the big river in LeClaire Township, some accounts say as long as two miles, settled the first farm, and built a house from native stone and stucco in 1842. Eleazor Parkhurst then convinced his brothers, Sterling and Waldo, to join him in the Iowa district, and his post office application was approved in 1836 establishing the village of Parkhurst. That same year, Sterling and Thomas C. Eads, who had purchased a portion of Sterling’s property, jointly began to plat out the town of Parkhurst. Surveyors making the original survey of the Black Hawk Purchase in 1837 recorded finding this town in section 85, LeClaire Township, and said it was prospering. Prior to the official Parkhurst plat, another topographer made his way through the Iowa district in 1835 and came across the early Parkhurst settlement. Lieutenant Albert M. Lea (namesake of Albert Lea, Minn.) had this to say about Parkhurst in his self-published work that led to the official state name of Iowa: Of this place, not yet laid out, it is sufficient to say that the site is beautiful, the landing good, building material convenient, and the back country fine. There is nothing wanting to make it a town but the people and the houses, and these will soon be there. Its position at the end of the Rapids will throw a little more trade and storage there then it would otherwise have. A good deal of trade of the Wabesapinica will find a port at Parkhurst; and many persons, emigrating from Illinois and the Lakes, will pass by this route (p. 39). Lea’s book was later reprinted in 1935 by the State Historical Society of Iowa and renamed, The Book that Gave Iowa its Name. In 1839, the Parkhurst post office was renamed Berlin, and Lage and others have noted that this may have been due to the influx of German immigrants within that period. In 1845, the name was changed back to Parkhurst and in 1847, the post office became LeClaire, and the village of Parkhurst became the Parkhurst addition. Get Robin Throne’s Her Kind, a novel free from Kindle April 5-7! She is the recipient of the 2013 David R. Collins Literary Achievement Award, and see why Her Kind readers are giving 5-stars at GoodReads!
Monday, April 1, 2013
Great site for collectors; wonderful for everyone who loves antiques and dolls. We are basically, writing our own online price guide. http://www.antiquedolls-collectors-onlineadvisors.com/curly-hair-dolls-wmarkings-on-head-and-neck.html There's new information at antiquedolls-collectors-onlineadvisors.com, submitted by folks with the same interest in this topic as the two of us. You can read it here... http://www.antiquedolls-collectors-onlineadvisors.com/curly-hair-dolls-wmarkings-on-head-and-neck.html http://www.antiquedolls-collectors-onlineadvisors.com/no-id.html Feel free to comment on any new contribution. Please tell your friends so they can give feedback, too. And, of course, you can contribute again to antiquedolls-collectors-onlineadvisors.com whenever you like. Your submissions mean a lot to me, and to other visitors to the site. http://www.antiquedolls-collectors-onlineadvisors.com/with-love-from-tin-lizzie-a-history-of-metal-heads-dolls-with-metal-parts-and-automata.html Best regards, Merle antiquedolls-collectors-onlineadvisors.com P.S. You requested this notification when you submitted your contribution. To stop receiving notices, click on the unsubscribe link below... http://www.antiquedolls-collectors-onlineadvisors.com/dyn/C2/Unsubscribe?domain=antiquedolls-collectors-onlineadvisors.com&author_id=21234795