OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE ROSALIE WHYEL MUSEUM OF DOLL ART
|Vol. X, No 2||April-June 2001|
Inside this edition of Small Wonders...
At the turn of the 20th century beautiful bisque
head dolls with their idealized representations of children’s faces dominated
the doll market. This was soon to change, when a German art character movement
began to gain momentum around 1908 to1910. During the ensuing decade-long character
doll apogee, manufacturers encouraged sculptors to create models that resembled
real children. Traditional doll heads, with their classically beautiful but
generic features, were replaced by realistic child faces, many with very child-like
expressions of emotion, such as
aughing, crying, or sulking. Although doll sculptors had created realistic portrayals of the human form long before this “Doll Reform” movement, they had not before achieved such mass-appeal. The popularity of dolls with extreme, caricature-like expressions was relatively short-lived, however, as children needed their dolls to portray a range of emotions. (A doll with features frozen in laughter cannot very well be angry or sad.) Models were modified and toned-down, while retaining realism, ensuring more commercial acceptance.
Among the more enduring legacies of the Character Reform was the resulting “birth” of more realistic baby dolls, an increased emphasis on realistic sculpting of ethnic doll features, and the emergence of artist signed commercial dolls. This enchanting and prolific era of doll history will be the focus of our next changing gallery exhibit. Highlighting the exhibit will be a very special collection of 26 child dolls, sculpted in Austria, and displayed for many years at the Traphagan School of Fashion in New York City. The dolls’ clothing depict children’s fashions from 1775 to 1932, in approximately five year intervals. Most of the dolls also hold perfectly scaled miniature toys. (Please read more about this fascinating collection in Rosalie’s column.)
We hope you will have an opportunity to visit this lively cast of characters, representing such
an important era of dollmaking history.
None of the dolls were telling on Ash Wednesday – February
28, 2001 – was this
the first earthquake they had experienced or just one of many they had “shaken” through in their long lives. It was obvious after the “rock and rolling” stopped, some had had a lot more fun than others! Leaping off their positions, interfacing in a new way with fellow case-inhabitants, casting off their accessories, and even playing “ten pins” literally and figuratively. None, however, suffered a smidge of damage, nor did the Museum after a 40 second (that’s a really long time, by the way) shaking of the Northwest. We felt we were all in the best place to be if an earthquake is taking place and salute our architects and builders for their fine jobs.
Naturally, we had just painstakingly installed several hundred tiny miniatures, perching them on their precarious little legs in settings of time periods back to the 1700s. Our “Something to Squint About: Miniatures and Dollhouses” Exhibit is the first true miniature exhibit we have presented since we opened and we can happily say nearly everything stood obediently in its proper place. Furniture, dolls, books, accessories, houses, and room boxes, the majority of which were children’s playthings, once again survived the test of time and jostling. Don’t miss this exhibit, it is a testament to fine craftsmanship of minutia. Many makers and time periods are identified for you and we include some equally amazing contemporary works.
For nearly a year, black rectangular boxes have silently sat, protectively holding their youthful treasures, awaiting May of 2001. The charming character children - formerly of the Traphagan School of Design collection - will make their debut in the Northwest in our Summer/Fall exhibit “In their Image: Character
Children”. Dolls designed by Lilli Baitz of Germany are rarely seen although some may go unidentified. Her fine sculpting abilities will be well demonstrated through this exhibit of 26 charming children who each represent an approximate different five year time period from 1775 to the 1930s. Layers of costume, per-
iod hair styles, even toys are nearly all original to this group who stood as models for the students of design at the Traphagan School from the 1930s tothe 1990s when it closed its doors. We are eternally grateful at the Museum and in the doll world for the efforts of Traphagan’s Curator, Phyllis Spenser, who saw the importance of keeping these dolls together as a collection when the School’s holdings were dispersed.
We are so pleased and excited that Ms. Spenser has agreed to travel to the Museum to give programs at our private and public openings of this exhibit. Her work with the school and inside knowledge of its founder, Ethel Traphagan, and the roles the dolls played as teaching aids will surely be of interest to all doll and costume / design enthusiasts. Other dolls by Lilli Baitz commissioned at the same time, which will be shown in later Museum exhibits, are pairs of Ethnically costumed adults and Ladies of the theater, both silent and talking movies.
Many other character children have been waiting even longer at the Museum to be included in this all character exhibit. They will finally have their “day in the sun” when the exhibit opens on May 19, 2001. Some names and mold numbers included in the Exhibit will be yet another tiny Simon and Halbig 1303 face
– will they never stop? That’s four different ones in the Museum collection now. Comparison studies of the K*R 101 “Marie’s” many faces and look-alikes, as well as K*R 115 “Philip” and his “twins” also await you. Hertel & Schwab characters are finding their attributions [more and more] with this firm and an adorable rare # 170 toddler will be sure to make you smile as well as some unknown sweet children still seeking a family tree.
We hope you will join us between May and November for this important exhibit. The “children” are excitedly awaiting your visit!
Since travel seems to be on everyone’s wish list, but can sometimes take time to plan, please be thinking of the summer or fall of 2002 also, especially you “wooden” aficionados. The “Heart of the Tree” Exhibit will speak to your heart, I am sure. The wonderful, thought provoking woodens have certainly spoken to mine in the last ten years. We have added three cases of them to our permanent exhibit and have shown some of these very early and sophisticated dolls in various changing galleries. Now we will show “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey says. Do make the trip to the Museum a priority, no matter from where you must travel. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Of course, if woodens are too “hard” for you to cuddle up to, then our Christmas Exhibit “Something Fuzzy in your Stocking: A Teddy Bear Christmas” should give you something to wrap your heart around. Bear and Doll Clubs, plan your Christmas meetings in our Rose Room and bring your fuzzy friends, too!
Thank you to everyone who so warmly embraced the Grand Opening of our new “Rosie’s Too” in February. Wow, we are so glad you love it as much as we do. And a personal thank you from me to my wonderful staff and volunteers who made it all happen in record-breaking time. What a great team of talented, hard working people. They really do know what our customers like and are continually working for you, too. If you haven’t made it there yet, we are open Fridays now as well as extra hours on Thursdays, and the ladies are getting things processed and out twice as fast with computers in the workroom now too. And if you just stop in for coffee or tea and a visit, that’s great, too. Watch for our great new logo (as if you could miss her) at 221-106th Avenue NE in Bellevue. “Miss Rosie” is the creation of Eric Shalit, of course, who did “The Rose Unfolds” layout as well as the UFDC book “Dolls at 2000”. I love what comes out of his mind. Thanks, Eric, keep thinking beyond the rest of us.
A blessed spring to each of you,
-Rosalie A Whyel
Karen Marie Klamm
We would like to thank the
following people for their generous
donations during the last quarter:
Lola B. Fast
German Doll Encyclopedia
The Dollhouse Book
Pair of antique christening gowns
Issaquah Historical Society
Collection of cloth historical figures
Estelle D. Johnston
Pair of printed cloth dolls
Margaret L. McCranie
$50 in memory of Vilma Matchette
Child’s comb & brush set, gloves, baby cap, & bib
Patsy doll, Horsman composition doll, Cabbage Patch doll
We sincerely hope we have not excluded anyone.
Whom You'll Be Seeing in 2001!
Protect Your Treasures- After
our recent earthquake it might
be a good time to add a little security to your collectible objects. The
Museum and Rosie’s Too are now carrying “Museum Putty”, “Museum Wax”,
and “Museum Gel”. These products are easy to use, non-toxic, removeable, and
can help secure porcelain, wood, pottery, and crystal. Display the items you
cherish with a little more confidence.
Call or stop by for more details or call the
(425) 455-1116 or toll free at 1-800-440-DOLL.
QUALITY DOLL & TEDDY BEAR
Saturday, April 21 & Sunday, April 22 Saturday,
September 8 & Sunday, September 9 Saturday,
November 17 & Sunday, November 18
Expo Center-Portland, OR
Saturday, June 23 & Sunday, June 24
Saturday, October 13 & Sunday, October 14
Saturday-11:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday-10:30 am to 4:00 pm
Admission: $6.00 Over 65: $4.00 Disabled & Under 12: $3.00
ANTIQUE & COLLECTIBLE DOLL FLEA MARKET*
Sunday, April 29, 2001
11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Admission: $3.00 5 and under: $1.00
Lake City Community Center
12531 28th Ave. NE
MID-VALLEY DOLL SALE
Saturday, June 9, 2001 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
3301 Market St. NE
THE ANTIQUE DOLL & TOY MART*
Sunday, August 26, 2001
Sunday, November 11, 2001 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Admission: $4.95 Seniors: $4.50
Bellevue Inn Best Western
STEILACOOM DOLL CLUB CLOTH DOLL SHOW & SALE
Saturday, October 27, 2001 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Admission: $3.00 Children under 12: Free
1603 Rainier St.
*Look for the Museum sales table
APRIL 15, 2001
MAY 19, 2001 Public Opening of “In Their
Image: Character Children” Character Exhibit
MAY 28, 2001
MAY 13, 2001
MAY 19, 2001
JUNE 17, 2001