Vol. VII, No 3 July - September 1999


Inside this edition of Small Wonders...

The museum is proud to announce it is offering a
special scholarship to the NIADA School for Doll Artists.

Curator's Corner

What (& what not) to store your dolls in...
  Part I (part II will appear in our next issue)

Several years ago I wrote a column on doll display and storage emphasizing the use of unbleached muslin, old sheeting or acid-free paper. Reaction to that article has been tremendous, with inquiries to reprint it, etc. but also yielded many questions about what is the best type of carton for long-term storage. Also, there were many questions about whether to store dolls in plastic.

Well, this possibly simple little article has evolved, from the internet, from a dozen or so books and catalogs into a big hulking monster. I've gotten caught up in the pros and cons of polyvinyl chloride or PVC, the big no-no plastic for preservation use, with its manufacturing companies complaining it's gotten a bad rep, that it isn't "toxic," that it is perfectly safe for products virtually surrounding us from car dashboards to raincoats, dishwashers to children's toys, shrink wrap to medical supplies, and so on. Yet the University of Southern California on the internet stated that it was a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). So whom do you believe? Luckily that's not our problem to solve here.

And all I was trying to do was determine how to tell which storage containers were made of PVC-besides one person's comment that you could tell by "how it smelled and how it felt." I hoped that we could get a little bit more specific than that.

Your safest option for storing your collections are acid-free boxes, which are available now from our own Rosie's Too, which has made a commitment to offering archival (safe for preservation purposes) products including the boxes and acid-free tissue. They carry a line of acid-free boxes, which can, depending on the size of the box and the size of the dolls, hold several to many dolls. The sizes offered are 10"x5"x3" for $5.95; 12"x10"x5" for 8.95; 17"x11"x5" for $9.85; 20"x 16"x5" for $12.25; plus two large textile-type storage boxes-30"x18"x10"for $34.40 and 40"x18"x10" for $40.55. These can be used for tall dolls or lots of small ones and often people buy them for long-time storage of wedding gowns.

Acid-free boxes are perfect for use, unless they will be kept in an area which might get wet or flooded; the boxes are not impervious to water like plastic. The material you want to stay away from is cardboard, which is a paper-product that leaches acid and will eventually stain or deteriorate any fabric. Have you ever taken an old tablecloth or similar item out of a cardboard box and opened it to find it has turned tan or brown along the fold lines? That is an example of acid-burn. I worked as Curator of Decorative Arts in a Midwest museum and discovered the governors' wives' inaugural gowns had been stored for years in cardboard. When we looked inside, the delicate silks and satins were in shatters from the cardboard. Horror stories.

Another no-no for long term storage is disposable diapers which we all use at some point or another to protect a doll's head or clothing-they are highly acidic just like regular tissue paper. The other insidious little fellow is bubble wrap, which is coated with none other than PVC plastic. Bubble wrap is great for shipping and temporary transportation or storage but a safer bet for long-term storage is polyethylene foam sheets available from many conservation suppliers or some plastic manufacturers. (Be sure to ask what it is made from). Also, never use foam rubber for storage; it will break down, emitting fumes, and eventually crumble into pieces, neither of which is good for your dolls.

-- Susan Hedrick, Curator

Part II, in our next newsletter, will cover good and bad plastic for doll storage.

from the Director

Don't get your glasses changed yet! What you're seeing is double and triple and more-Of course, it's our "Twins-Room for One More," exhibit featuring twins and multiple births. And, is it adorable! Please don't miss this one, and come in multiples [with your twin or triplet sibling(s)] and you'll get in free!

Speaking of twins, wow, were we ever surprised and honored on May 18th when we received our second (that makes "twins") Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Emerging Business Award-this one for "Tourism"-against heavy competition from Bellevue Square Mall and the Hyatt Regency Hotel, our two great neighbors in downtown Bellevue! In 1996 we received the Chamber of Commerce EBA for "Most Innovative Business." Thanks to those who nominated us, the East King County Convention and Visitors' Bureau for suggesting the 1st Annual Tourism Award, and the Chamber and judges, and, of course, to all our tourists who travel from near and far to walk through our doors and visit the dolls and toys.

And, speaking of "free admission"...Our 7th Birthday Party is coming up fast. We'll be celebrating on Saturday, September 11th with free admission, birthday cake, door prizes and our 7th Annual Sales Room honoring you, our members and visitors. The sales room will run throughout the following week during our regular hours with sale prices of 30% off (40% for members) and includes Rosie's Too also. You're all invited, and bring a friend or your whole doll club, scout troop, church group, or fellow workers.

This year, as is fitting for the end of this millennium, our year-end exhibit will be "A Neapolitan Christmas." A Neapolitan (Naples, Italy) Village scene, the work of Bostonian, June Kibbey, will be the setting for three collections of creche (Nativity) figures dating back two and three centuries. Make plans for your family to attend this meaningful exhibit during your holiday schedule. A program by noted doll researchers, Dorothy and Jerome McGonagle, will highlight this exhibit opening.

We are also honored and excited to be doing the Christmas exhibit for the Log House Museum at Alki in West Seattle. This little jewel of a museum was originally the carriage house for the first home built on Alki. Some of our favorite pieces from the time period of 1900-1915 will be on display there. Make time to visit this historical landmark over the holidays.

Do you love Kewpies like we love Kewpies? At long last, our collection gets the space it deserves when we unveil a new permanent exhibit of Kewpies and their ephemera in August. Come share the "Kewpie Joy." If you're planning a tea party or other affair in the Museum Community Room, you'll enjoy a new dimension when a new permanent exhibit of child and doll tea sets goes on display in August also. Tea has never been so fun! A third new case will be unveiled in our upstairs gallery-a surprise!-(we have to have a few secrets to entice you to visit)-worth the trip alone, you'll see!

For those of you who like to plan ahead into the next Millennium, our curatorial staff has planned our exhibits through 2001, the highlight being our Millennium exhibit "Nothing New Under the Sun-Five Centuries of Dolls." This will run from May to November, 2000, giving you ample time to visit (more than once, we hope.) Many incredible dolls and toys have been saved for this very special look back and ahead in the world of toys.

And Ginny and family fans, you're finally getting what you've been asking for-an all Vogue exhibit in February of 2000. Ginny, Jill, Jeff and family, still holding onto our heart strings after all these years.

Did I mention High Fashion and Miniatures in 2001? We hope you're as excited as we are! Have an energetic and healthy summer!

- Rosalie A. Whyel, Director

A Special Summertime Treat for Our Members

At this time we would like to announce an exciting summer exchange program to benefit our members. During the months of July and August, your membership to the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art will allow you to also enjoy The Children's Museum at Seattle Center; located one floor below the hot dogs, cotton candy and pizza in the Center House; open weekdays 10-5 and weekends 10-6.

This wonderful Museum is a giant hands-on play area for children of all ages. Visit Time Trek, Mindscape, Cog City, and the Imagination Station.

Members of the Children's Museum will in turn be admitted free to the Doll Museum during the months of July and August. Please take advantage of this cooperative program especially for children.

For more information you may call the Children's Museum at (206) 441-1768.


Welcome to Our New Members:

Frances Alcorn
Helen Bohrer
Marjorie B. Burns
Andrea Drabec
Sarah A. Ellsworth
Julie Erwin
Linda Lee Foster
Charlotta Galanti
Elizabeth Hale
Joanna Koester
Charlotte M. Powell
John R. Price
Jan Rohrmann
Mabel Schluessler
Tani Lynne Smetters
Mildred J. Smith
Doreen Thompson
Deanna Vale

News From Rosie's Too

Hello from all the gals at Rosie's Too! We continue to enjoy a steadily increasing Saturday business - Mother and daughter doll fans especially love our Saturday openings as it is difficult for them to shop together during the week.

New collections, large and small, have been acquired and are being added to the store inventory daily. Our next sale will coordinate with the Museum's 7th Birthday Sale beginning September 11th and will continue throughout the following week during our normal store days and hours (please check the Museum Calendar of Events).

As always, we thank you for your continued patronage and hope to see you soon at the Museum Store, Rosie's Too, and now our new Ebay auctions (use the Ebay search to find Rosie's too under "sellers") where you'll find exciting and competitive purchase opportunities. Many wonderful items sell at very reasonable prices!

We would like to thank the following people for their generous donations during the last quarter:

Beverly Asbahr

Effie M. Douglas
Schoenhut Doll

Susan & Basil Hedrick
Doll Magazines

Joel Fernandez
Children's Tea Set

Janet & Bill Lloyd
2 Erector sets, 1930 and 1940

Jean M. St.Clair
Doll Reader magazines

Dorothy Steding & Jennefer Detjen
Two 1950s cloth and metal doll buggies

Charlotte M. Powell
Doll bed, books, tea set, washing machine
and hand-made items from 1930s.

Virginia A. Vinton
Amelia Bloomer Doll

Roesmary Zilmer
Framed set of U.S. postal stamps - Classic American Dolls

We sincerely hope we have not excluded anyone.

The Museum Store

Tea Parties aren't just for little girls.

Return to the finer pleasures in life with a delightful afternoon of tea. Wouldn't you love to take time to simply enjoy the company of others?-dolls and bears included, of course! The Museum Store can provide you with many wonderful items to plan your own tea party. To get you started, we have lovely books available that specialize in theme and recipe ideas. Our tea sets can accommodate any guest; elegant vintage sets for the collector, new German tea sets for children, and smaller sets that your dolls and bears will enjoy. Invite your friends and their dollies using our wonderful floral and embossed invitations to a unique party not soon to be forgotten.

And, for the perfect setting, have your party at the Museum. The pleasant Victorian atmosphere of our lovely rental room includes an English Garden complete with fountain. Plan your own special menu, or rely on one of our experienced caterers. Our event coordinator, Pat Farwell, will be happy to help you with the arrangements. After tea, complete the experience with a stroll through the Museum galleries. What a wonderful way to gather friends, family, or your doll club. You'll find that reliving the traditions of the past is a fun and refreshing way to stimulate the soul.

Call or stop by for more details or call the Museum Store: (425) 455-1116 or toll free at 1-800-440-DOLL.

Featured Antique Doll

Absolutely wonderful, eye-catching lady F.G. fashion.

Kid body, lovely light blue glass eyes and excellent bisque. Extravagant antique Turkish-type costume in excellent condition with nice old ethnic shoes.

An appealing package in a desirable size of 14." She's a definite favorite among Museum staff.



"Rachel" Cloth Doll Workshop
Instructor: Patti Medaris Culea

November 13th and 14th, 1999
10:00am to 5:00pm
Location:  Museum multi-purpose room
COST: $50.00 plus $10 kit fee

In this two-day workshop, participants will make "Rachel," an adorable 16" jointed doll. Fun trims and laces will be used for parts of clothing. Techniques taught: Face sculpting and drawing, sculpting hands, "wired" hands, body sculpting. Patti will also demonstrate dyeing of laces/trims.

  • $10.00 kit fee paid directly to instructor on first day of workshop.
  • Intermediate level of sewing proficiency recommended
  • Supplies needed: A detailed supplies list will be mailed to each registrant.
  • Register early: Class size limited to 15.
  • Cancellation deadline (for full refund, minus $5 processing fee): 11/1/99.

To Register, please call the museum at 425-455-1116

Area Doll Show Dates

Youth Soccer Bing Hall,
Kenmore, Washington

Sunday, August 8, 1999

Bellevue Best Western, Bellevue, WA
Sunday, August 22, 1999

Portland Expo Center
August 28th & 29th, 1999

Evergree State Fairgrounds
Monroe, Washington
September 25 - 26, 1999


Puyallup Fairgrounds
October 16 - 17, 1999

Oberlin Church
Steilacoom, Washington

Saturday, October 23, 1999

*Look for the Museum sales table

Coming Events at the Museum

Continuation of Current Exhibit:
"Twins: Room for One More"
FREE ADMISSION with your twin or triplet sibling
through November 14, 1999

SUNDAY, July 4, 1999

Labor Day
Monday September 6, 1999

Saturday, September 11, 1999
(Sale continues at Museum through Sept. 17 and at Rosie's Too through Sept. 16)

November 13 &14, 1999
Two-day Cloth Doll Workshop
By renowned cloth-doll artist Patti Medaris Culea
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 20, 1999
Opening of New Exhibit:
"A Neapolitan Christmas"
(Exhibit will run through January 30, 2000)

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