Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

Google+ Followers

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

Popular Posts

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 30, 2018

Guest Blogger: David Levy and Skyward 2018; A Change of Pace


This is a blog by another type of collector, one who discovers comets and creates observation logs of the heavens and astronomical objects.  His passion is equal to our, that's for sure.

It is an honor and a pleasure for us to feature guest blogger, Dr. David Levy, noted author, astronomer, Shakespeare scholar, champion of the planet Pluto, and discoverer of  22 comets, either alone or with Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker
 
Dr. Levy was a co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 in 1993, which collided with the planet Jupiter in 1994.


Among his many awards, Dr. Levy won a 1998 News & Documentary Emmy Award in the "Individual Achievement in a Craft, Writer" category for the script of the documentary 3 Minutes to Impact produced by York Films .


Skyward—

 

October 2018

 

If you build it…

 

 

“If you build it,” said the voice, “he will come.” In eastern Iowa near the town of Dyersville, near a well-kept farmhouse, lies a regulation baseball diamond in the midst of a cornfield.  This is the field of dreams from the 1989 movie.  On the beautiful Sunday afternoon of September 9, Jeff Struve and I drove down to visit the site as part of the Eastern Iowa Star Party he had so well organized.  With impact crater specialist Jennifer Anderson and her husband David, we saw where one of my favorite movies was filmed.  Dr. Anderson had just delivered a stunning and lively lecture about her impact crater research at Winona State University’s geosciences department.

The theme of Field of Dreams revolves around baseball.  But even though I am a baseball fan, the movie’s influence on me was not about the sport but about the dreams.  It is about a dream I began to have in the fall of 1965 just as my interest in the night sky was advancing by leaps and bounds.  That fall, two Japanese comet hunters, Ikeya and Seki, discovered what would become the brightest comet of the 20th century.  I first saw Comet Ikeya-Seki’s lovely tail rising out of the St. Lawrence River late that October, and I have never forgotten it.

Two months later, I began my own program of searching for comets.  It had three goals, to search for comets and exploding stars (officially referred to as novae, to discover a comet or a nova, and to conduct a research project on comets and novae.  Over the course of my life I have now discovered 23 comets, and when I co-discovered the comet that collided with Jupiter, I really felt as if I dipped myself in magic waters. And the research part, which connects to poetry and the sky, became my 1979 master’s from Queen’s and my 2010 doctorate from the Hebrew University.  Along the way, I have also made two independent discoveries of novae.

When I visited in September, the house and field looked exactly as they were in the movie.  The picket fence in front now has a sign that says “if you build it.”  The second part is left off.  I interpret its absence as indicating that not all dreams come true.  Maybe yours will, maybe it won’t.  But it is about the dream, whether it is baseball, the night sky, or anything else.  At the close of the film Ray Kinsella asks,  “Is there a heaven?”

“Oh yeah,” his Dad replies. “It’s the place dreams come true.”

          And if somehow your dream does come true, you could add the words of Ray’s skeptical brother-in-law:

“When did these ball players get here?”

House at Field of Dreams, photo by David Levy

Field of Dreams, photo by David Levy

We are officially Non Profit and can Accept Contributions!



We are officially Non Profit and can Accept Contributions!


 


Dr. E’s Doll Museum is now incorporated as a 501© charity as American Doll & Toy Museum.  We can now accept monetary ad other contributions which are tax deductible. Our collection has taken a lifetime to assemble; we are in the last stages of completion, and hope to have a building by the end of next year.  Thank you to everyone who has helped us on this journey.  Anyone who would like to contribute to this teaching museum which will feature dolls, toys, and objects to tell human history from the dawn of time, please contact me at ellentsagaris@gmail.com.  We will continue our blogs and social media, and will have a print library of materials in our museum to help everyone learn more about dolls, perhaps the oldest cultural artifact, still relevant after all these years!  Happy Collecting!


 



Paper Airplanes


Paper Airplanes

 

Greetings, everyone!  Many of us who collect dolls also love toys, dolls, and other ephemera. I am currently in charge of selling the lifelong collection of one of my professors from my alma mater.  Currently, he records Rock Island Lines on WVIK and co-hosts Scribble and Saturday Morning Life; check it out at WVIK.org.  He has collected paper airplanes, starships, kites, books on the topic, paper models and related items for most of his life.  These are all vintage, roughly twenty years and older.  There are cereal box premiums, White Wings, books on flying airplanes, some signed, models, gliders and much more. The collection contains 2000+ items.  All are priced to sell. Some are on Etsy under Vintage Rose Antiques and Jewelry.  Others are pictures on my instagram account under ellen_tsagaris.  Any one interested, please pm me, and thank you for reading this blog. You can find my email on this blog as well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Addressing Dolls as Objects of Study in Material Culture


Addressing Dolls as Objects of Study in Material Culture



 

According to Australianmuseum.net, a “cultural object is an object made by humans for a practical and/or spiritual purpose.”  Certainly dolls qualify as cultural objects by this definition; when created for play or retail merchandise, they serve a practical purpose.  As Max Von Boehn, Carl Fox, Janet Pagter Johl, Emily Jackson, Laura Starr and others have documented, the doll began as a religious figure or idol, meant to serve spiritual purposes.

 

The Study of Material culture studies cultural objects and culture in general. Antiques in particular are important, and my alma mater, Augustana College, has created a new major in this area, closely related to art history.

 

Material culture studies analyze how we interact with objects, and how they are used or traded, curated or thrown away.  We, as humans, have treasured and collected certain objects since The Stone Age, and even animals like chimps and orangutans have exhibited human like behaviors involving collecting objects and tool use.  In fact, other animals also tend to collect or save certain types of things.

 

My observations indicate that this is a course of study related to archaeology, anthropology, sociology, historiography, and art history.  A study of dolls is right at home in such an academic canon. One student at a local college has focused on the study of antiques, and uses her grandmother’s antiques business as a research source.

 

By its very definition, doll collecting involves  scholarship of a serious nature.  More and more serious research is being done on dolls and their history.  The question might become, why have dolls been ignored by Academe for so long?  According to Elizabeth V. Sweet whose book “Dolls” is a partial bibliography of doll study, “. . . the marginalized status of children and the taken for granted nature of material culture have contributed to the underrepresentation of toys in academic scholarship.” Kenneth Gross’s books On Dolls and On Puppets are excellent sources for how dolls are important as cultural objects.

 

 

 

Sweet also agrees that the diverse work on dolls emerges from a variety of fields of study including history, psychology, sociology, communications, media studies, human development,, cultural studies, folklore studies and more. 

 

As Sweet writes, many different types of researchers are interested in dolls because doll play helps children with socialization and because dolls allow kids to “interpret cultural messages, create social meaning, and actively carve out spaces of resistance to adult culture.  Books included in her bibliography are Manfred Bachmann’s “Dolls the wide World Over” and G. Stanley Hall’s, “A Study of Dolls.”  I would like to humbly submit two of my books, “With Love from Tin Lizzie:  a History of Metal Dolls” and “A Bibliography of Doll and Toy Sources”, simply because they reflect my own interest in dolls as historical and cultural objects.

 

Susan Pearce address dolls and collecting objects in general in her well written and documented four part series, The Collector’s Voice.  The series of four books examines collecting behavior from ancient to contemporary times.


Doll collectors also collect, and even create dolls, to preserve cultural heritage, another focus of Material Culture studies.  Cornhusk dolls, handkerchief dolls, apple head dolls, and other folk dolls are collected and made to preserve the cultural heritage of early American colonists and pioneers.  Poets are not immune to dolls, either; American Poet Dave Etter wrote a poem called “Cornhusk Dolls”, while William Butler Yeats and Sylvia Plath have included poems about dolls and mannikins in their work.  Tom Whalen wrote a book of poems called “Dolls”, and your humble guide is about to publish her book of poems about dolls called “Creepy A** Humans:  the Dolls Reply.”  My late cousin Panos Panoyoutounis who was a renowned poet in Europe declared in his poem, “What is Poesy?” that his little girl’s doll, and her dress, were both “poetry.”  Native American dolls are collected and made for similar reasons, especially Kachinas and the Pueblo storytellers.  The Smithsonian Institution has an excellent booklet on Native American dolls that is fee to download for anyone interested.  Ethnic doll collections also are collect to preserve other cultures as collections in Shankar’s International Doll Museum, The Indianapolis Children’s Museum, The British Museum, and The Yokohama Doll Museum show.

 

Didn’t we all know dolls were important?  I have a male friend who is a retired detective who collects dolls because he is a history buff, and he considers dolls to be historical objects.   Doll artist and author R. Lane Herron stresses in his many books that dolls are indeed historical and art objects, too.


 

Celebrity Dolls from My Collection



Many of you know that a few years ago, Atlas Obscura interviewed me about Celebrity Dolls. Below is a snapshot of some of my celebrity dolls before I had to pack them away and move them.  Soon, they will be displayed again in our museum.