Vol. IX, No 2 July-September 2000


Inside this edition of Small Wonders...

Curator's Corner


 Finishing touches were still being applied at 7:00 p.m. Friday evening, May 18th, as the private opening of our millennium exhibit got underway.  As guests arrived, weeks and months of planning and a hectic week of installation careened to a halt.  Only our recently acquired Pet Rock had not yet taken its place in the exhibit.  Our "rock star" arrived "fashionably late" in the mail a few days after the exhibit opening.  It is now displayed amongst other dolls and playthings made of stone, including a Mezcala stone figure c. 300 BC-AD 150.

At six months, our spring exhibit is traditionally the longest-running exhibit of the year.  This affords a stretch of time to focus on the many other projects that have been simmering patiently on the back burner.  This summer is no exception, with two major projects set to begin this month.

First, we will be converting our collection's database to PastPerfect, software designed specifically for museum collections management.  Many area museums and historical societies are already utilizing PastPerfect.  The functionality built into this software will allow for better maintenance of, and access to, our collections records.  Better access to out library resources will also be possible with this new software.  A "virtual exhibit" component may also be employed in the future, which will allow visitors access to collections data via computer kiosks in the galleries.

We will also begin this summer to retrofit the Museum with a new fiber optical lighting system.  Used at the Louvre to light the Mona Lisa, fiber optics lighting is free of damaging Ultra-Violet and Infra-Red heat radiation, and is the very best, safest lighting option available today.

This project will be undertaken in phases, beginning with the early wooden doll displays.  We will be working together with Craig Marquardt, from CE Marquardt Lighting Design in Boring, Oregon, to phase-in the new lighting.  Craig was involved with the installation of our current track lighting, and has lit every changing gallery since the Museum opened.  We, and the dolls, are in good hands with Craig.

Of course preparations have already begun for the next changing gallery exhibit, ("The Cloth Doll Christmas"), and will continue through the summer and fall.  I hope your summer plans include a visit to the Museum.  Our " Nothing New Under the Sun" millennium exhibit, replete with rare dolls never before exhibited, awaits your review.


Jill Gorman, Curator

from the Director

Over the last year we have tried to interest you in and entice you to visit our Millennium exhibit "Nothing New Under the Sun: Five Centuries of Playthings".  Even we did not know how this exhibit would evolve.  I began with the plan to show hoe dollmaking materials of old were translated through time to the present.  New and experimental technologies of each era would be portrayed in the toys that inventors and entrepreneurs would market-many of them early examples of what we today considered contemporary to our times.

As the exhibit was in the planning stages, however, another thread began to weave itself into the design.  It may seem like stating the obvious that children's playthings relate to child development, but, remembering that a child's role has changed dramatically in the last five hundred years, we were fascinated that adults have continued to expose their children to a consistent theme of expectations in that same time period. 

This led us to a study done in 1897 by two men, G. Stanley Hall and A. Caswell Ellis, professors at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.  It was simply called "A Study of Dolls".  Though it barely scratched the surface of relating doll-play to child development, it was the first study of its kind and the author's challenge was to continue to interpret the use of dolls by children to educate them, study their emotions and social interaction, and provide comfort to them.  It was a huge challenge and we leave it up to our visitors to determine whether, upon looking back, we as educators, parents, and toy manufacturers, have met that challenge in a positive way.


                                                                  "Smiling Bru" fashion doll c. 1875
                                                                          Bru Jne & Cie France

                          "Nothing New Under the Sun" Millennium Exhibit

In contrast to this exhibit we are now preparing for "A Cloth Doll Christmas".  If ever you cuddled a cloth doll or animal, this exhibit will hopefully bring to mind many tactile and heart warming memories.  Each doll is a miracle of survival as the cloth playthings enjoyed lifetimes of comforting children and sometimes adults, too, happily sacrificing right down to their stuffings to do so.

A program by noted doll enthusiast Estelle Johnson will be presented on Roxanna Cole cloth dolls.  Estelle and husband Jon have loaned us four of these dolls which were created by his Great-Great-Grandmother in the late 19th century.  Watch for these dates in our next Newsletter.

It would be impossible to think that as a doll collector you have not at least read an article by John Darcy Noble.

More than likely you have read many in various doll magazines over the years, and perhaps a book or two of his, or seen a video in which John has appeared.  Perhaps you have even been fortunate enough to attend one of his delightful programs.

Well, I had the supreme pleasure of walking through the Museum Galleries with him not long ago and I wished the day would never end!  It did, but happily not without my securing a commitment from John to give a program at the museum.  On July 29, Saturday, you are invited to hear John speak on "Style in its Time" or "go ahead and redress it, Honey, no one will ever know", one of hi all-time favorite subject.  We guarantee you will leave smiling broadly.  For those of you who don't know John Darcy Noble, he is an Englishman transplanted in America, former Curator of the New York City Toy Museum, collector of rare, wonderful, and intriguing dolls and related paraphernalia, researcher, author, and charmer. (I probably missed a few dozen qualities.)  Please come and count for yourself.

Thanks to a Special Friend:

So many of you are dedicated supporters of the Museum and all that we do.  It would be impossible to name you all, but you know who you are and we thank you for the moral support, encouragement, and monetary support you provide by buying at our stores, being members, and taking advantage of our classes and seminars, and bringing others here.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank a member, docent, and friend, Atha Kahler, for her continuous support of all that we do, too.  No matter where in the world we are, I hear Atha encourage others to buy from the Museum as she does so we can keep providing new and better exhibits, programs, and workshops.  She brings resourceful people through our doors and encourages them to be docents and volunteers.  Atha continually shares information and research through programs and special exhibits and works tirelessly for not just her own UFDC Club but all of Region 1 and National UFDC.  I believe, in the eleven years I have been a member of the Seattle Doll and Toy Club, Atha has been president four times!  She has co-hosted doll tours to Europe with Ellie Kringer that have been fabulous adventures into "doll-dom", chaired conferences, written articles, and genuinely cared for other doll enthusiasts.  Thank you, Atha.  We just wanted to let you know how much you are appreciated and you do make a difference.

Millennium Exhibit Features Several Stars:

When planning your next visit to our current exhibit "Nothing New Under the Sun: Five Centuries of Playthings" remember to allow time to watch two videos we are featuring.

One I received in the mail unannounced about six weeks before the exhibit opened.  It was produced by three sisters, ages 13, 10 and 5 living in our area and is the most delightful documentary of "doll play" I have ever encountered.  It so appropriately interprets the message of our exhibit as it relates to "The Study of Dolls" mentioned earlier.

You will be enthralled and entranced by these young ladies' talents, abilities, and sense of joy that doll play has brought them.  It might even renew your enthusiasm for dolls and play in general or give you ideas that you can present to you children or grandchildren.

The presence of Greta, Willow, and Solana and their parents at our private opening was a real treat (additionally by Solana's dancing) and enjoyed by everyone who attended.

Because so many of the playthings in our exhibit needed the help of a child's hands to "perform", we enlisted the talents of Heidi and Michael Decker, children of our own Susan Decker, to star in the video "Playthings of the Past".  They play with mechanical and musical dolls, wind-up toys, musical instruments, and toys featuring the latest technologies of ages past.

We know you will enjoy not only seeing these toys "work" but the enjoyment they provide to two children of modern times.  Thank you, Heidi and Michael-we had so much fun filming you!

End of an Era

To many Seattle area doll enthusiasts Lillian Carlstedt was a mentor and hostess supreme.  To sign her voluminous guest book was indeed a pleasure as she prepared tea for you in the kitchen of her cozy little house.  But the treat we all anticipated was the visit to her basement doll gallery and leafing through the pages of her extensive antique card collection.

Many of us attended her 100th birthday party as she "held court" for her many friends.  A vision in party pink, her petite self seemed like a doll we would have loved to have in our own collections.

Lillian passed away in early Spring at 101 years of age.  Our sympathies go to her daughter, Doris Prescott and family, and our thanks to them for enabling Lillian to continue to play dolls with us until the end.  She was a Charter Member of the Seattle Doll and Toy Club, and an honorary docent of the Museum, and will be missed greatly in the Northwest.

Please Welcome:

New employee Jennifer Manatt who really fills our needs in many areas.  Jennifer is an artist with computer talents and alevel head and she is a fast learner.  When exhibit installation time came, Jennifer artistically provided invitations, labels, text panels, and the refreshments and decorations without batting an eye.  She will also be our room rental and special events coordinator.  Her own web-site can be seen on the internet at and she is helping to implement our own website.  You might also meet her and Genevieve Czyzewski, at the Admissions desk.  Genevieve is the niece of our own Eleonora and cousin of Cristina.  Her smile and quiet demeanor is a great addition to the Museum staff also; I am sure you will agree.

Orlando, Here We Come:

By the time you read this Shelley and Rosalie will have been to Orlando, Florida to speak at the Doll Artisan Guild Convention.  Thank you to everyone who has already at this time contacted us and made us feel so welcome-we can't wait to get there and meet more of you.

The Dolls Take us to New Zealand:

November is spring in New Zealand and that is when Joyce Nicholson presents the "South Pacific Doll, Bear & Toy Expo" in Auckland.  Rosalie will be the featured speaker as doll enthusiasts from New Zealand and Australia gather to share their favorite subject.  Their warm "Really Southern" hospitality is a treat everyone should discover at least once.  We are looking forward to this special time with special people.

- Rosalie A. Whyel, Director

Welcome to Our New Members:

Fern Watt
Carol McVicar Scott
Km Cronogue
Samantha Gorrell
Teresa Romero
Sally Spurgeon

News From Rosie's Too

We'd like to thank our faithful clientele and members for their attendance at our sale on April 29th.  It was very successful, and, as always, we appreciate your continued patronage.

All of us at Rosie's Too are busy as bees getting more and more goods processed and priced for sale.  We are fortunate to have more of Eleonora's time available to us in our quest to continuously add to the stock available for sale.

The Rosie's Too team is combining efforts to reorganize the sales area of the store.  We are preparing for the September Anniversary Sale and will have great merchandise for your perusal and purchase!

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

Tricia Green
Dolls, clothes, puzzles, paper dolls, coloring books c. 1950s

Susan Hedrick
Doll auction catalogs

James E. Hollingsworth
Handmade cloth dolls

Karen McMillan & Janet Zytstra
"Princess Peggy" doll with box

Maida Miller & Ruth Swanson
South Dakota Centennial commemorative doll

Kevin & Kimberly O'Donoghue
Korean doll display

Mary Lou Smith
Doll Reader Magazines

Sue Summer
Corn husk dolls

We sincerely hope we have not excluded anyone.

The Museum Store


The excitement and anticipation are building as we plan our 8th Annual Anniversary Sale to honor our customers.  In appreciation of you business and support of the Museum, we will be offering special prices on many wonderful items from the Store.  This is a great opportunity to own the dolls you've been dreaming about!

Our week-long celebration features discounts from 10-40% off available only during our Anniversary Sale.  Museum Members receive an additional 10% off sale prices.  Specially selected items will include: * Ginny * Kathe Kruse * Susan Krey * Madame Alexander * Ballard Baines Bears * Muffy & Hoppy * Dresses to fit American Girl Dolls * Antiques * Accessories * Books * and more!


In the Meantime........ Come See What's New!

We are featuring a fabulous new artist, Loretta Conway, who has joined us with her intricately hand-beaded creations.  Her miniature porcelain ladies, standing 6.5" tall, capture the essence of the roaring '20s.  You will be enchanted with these chic Flappers.  The authentically recreated dress adorning each doll contains over 5000 beads in subtle hues.  Delight yourself!


For those who have a Victorian flair, we invite you to come and see our new year-round ornaments.  Whether your passion is for hats, shoes, animal, boxes, or purses, you will find that these accessories make wonderful decorations.  And, these finely crafted pieces make excellent, affordable gifts!

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


Instructor: Jacques Dorier

Saturday, September 9th
9:00am to 5:00pm
Location:  Museum multi-purpose room
COST: $55.00 per person (Includes kit fee)


In this workshop, participants will make "Kiko the Little Girl", a 5 1/2"  little girl using Washi paper dollmaking techniques.  This doll uses a thin wire armature.  Included materials: All Washi papers needed for clothing doll, paper for hair, already made clay face, wire armature.

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


Area Doll Show Dates

Portland, OR
Saturday, July 29, 9 am-5 pm

Elks Club, Lake City Way
Saturday, August 19

Bellevue Inn Best Western, Bellevue, WA
Sunday, August 27, 11 am-4 pm

Portland Expo Center, Portland, OR
Saturday, September 9, 10:30 am-5 pm and Sunday, September 10, 10:30 am -4 pm

Fairgrounds, Monroe, WA
Saturday & Sunday, September 23-24

Oberlin Church, Steilacoom, WA
Saturday, October 28, 10 am-4 pm

Fairgrounds, Vallejo, CA
Friday, November 3, Noon-4 pm and Saturday, November 4, 9 am-4 pm


Fairgrounds, Puyallup, WA  Saturday, November 4, 10:30 am-5 pm and Sunday, November 5, 10:30 am-4 pm

*Look for the Museum sales table

Coming Events at the Museum

Monday, September 4, 2000
Labor Day
Museum is open

Saturday, September 9, 2000-Washi Doll Workshop
"Kiko the Little Girl"
For registration and information contact the Museum!


Saturday, September 16, 2000 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

It's Our 8th Annual Birthday 

Two For One Admission (bring a friend or loved one!)

We're not getting older, we're just having more fun!  And you're invited to join us!

*Birthday Cake (Yum!)  *Door prizes (you could win!) * A great sale (In the Atrium-you'll love it!) *Children's Playroom

Our Children's Playroom  (For children of all ages, naturally!)

Join us for a fun filled day of activities... Saturday, September 16, 10:30 am -Admission not required

*Create new hairstyles with our latest selection from Corolle of sweet dolls with delightfully long hair  *Play dress-up with Ginny and her dreamy wardrobe  * No day of play would be complete without a tea party!

Museum Store Sale-September 16th through 24th

Rosie's Too Sale-September 16 through 23rd

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