Vol. X, No 1 January-March 2001


Inside this edition of Small Wonders...

Something to Squint About:
Miniatures Exhibit-February
17 through May 13, 2001

     Dollhouses and their miniature contents first appeared extensively in affluent European homes in the 1600s. "Cabinet Houses" were commissioned by wealthy collectors in the Netherlands and filled with the finest (miniature) paintings, carved furniture and porcelain. Cabinet Houses were not dollhouses as we know them today, but rather open cabinets fitted with rooms and perhaps glass doors, allowing their contents to be viewed. These costly display cabinets were often built to match other furnishings in the room.
     Adult amusement was also the original purpose served by the 17th century German "Puppenhaus", but later dollhouses and doll kitchens were employed as housekeeping instructional tools for girls, and as playthings.
     In the 18th century, English dollhouses were complete with side walls, roofs and a facade, and were often miniature replicas of the homes of the collectors that commissioned them. Known as "baby houses", (‘baby’ being the term used at the time for ‘doll’), they were loaded with miniature copies of the household’s furniture and accessories.
     The diminutive dolls that inhabited these miniature domiciles were crafted from a range of materials. Often dolls of different materials and proportions would "reside" together in the same dollhouse.
     The fascination and vogue for tiny objects continues today, with doll and miniature artists achieving breathtaking new levels of inventiveness and excellence. Our "Something to Squint About" miniature exhibit will feature both antique dollhouse dolls and contemporary artist dolls, and many other tiny treasures, including antique and modern miniatures, dollhouses, doll kitchens, room boxes and shadow boxes. So bring your eyeglasses (better yet, a magnifying glass) and prepare to peek into a world in miniature.

-Jill Gorman

     Did you welcome the new Millennium in grand style? Or like me, did you sit and wonder where the great year of 2000 went? Hopefully now that we have weathered Y2K with minimal glitches, had a glimpse of democracy at work and have a new president, and watched our favorite stocks dip out of sight, we can get on to living a more peaceful year in 2001.
     We have some wonderful exhibits in store for you at the Museum beginning with "Something to Squint About" displaying antique to modern miniatures and dollhouses. This is actually our first true miniature exhibit since we opened. We showed the wonderful micro miniatures of Orville Elton in 1995, which people still comment on, and we have shown miniature "mini" exhibits, but never a full gallery like you’ll see beginning on February 17th, 2001. From children’s miniature play furniture of the 1800s to Bliss two story houses and Schoenhut pieces, most of these antiques from the collection will be showing for the first time. Wonderful modern pieces – room boxes, settings, dolls etc. – will showcase the work of our contemporary artists such as Rosemary Zilmer, Jean Sprague and Antonio Martinez, and Dorothy Hoskins. Rosemary is creating a special new work for this exhibit – we can’t wait for you to experience it! So bring your glasses and a friend to share this exhibit with and spend a peaceful and fun filled day.
     We are gearing up for the summer’s exhibit of our "In Their Image: Character Dolls" from the Traphagen School of Design. If you love dolls, clothing, children, or history, this is the place for you next May through November. Get your doll club or social group together for a glance back through time. These are some of the dolls that budding designers studied from to become the world’s leading clothing designers.
     From the 1930s to the 1960s these dolls traversed the United States on exhibition "making the newspapers" wherever they went as little ambassadors of fashion. Perhaps you or someone in your family even remember having seen them on display. The collection of 83 dolls was kept together by one of the School’s employees who could not stand to see this amazing collection broken up. We are pleased and honored to have acquired them as a whole to share with you. Don’t miss this one.
     Not all our excitement is in the galleries. We are thrilled to announce the opening of our new Rosie’s Too the end of January 2001 – Watch for the exact date announcement at the "old" Rosie’s Too or at the Museum. We think you will love the new, bright, welcoming atmosphere plus the increased sales area – almost three times the size of our present location. And, of course, for you coffee clatches, we’ll even have a conversation corner for you. There will also be a special place where you can "put your dolls together". Whether Dolly needs a new arm, eyes, dress, or wig, you can do the choosing and matching. Parts and clothing will be available on the sales floor for you to pick from while your doll waits comfortably on a padded table! Gather up those poor babies and make your New Year’s resolution to fix up your little dears like you have been promising them (and yourself).
         We look forward to welcoming you to Rosie’s Too at 221- 106th Avenue NE in Bellevue just one block west and three blocks south of the Museum. Come see us soon!
     It is always difficult to announce the loss of good Museum friends and I am sad to relate the passing of the talented and knowledgeable Vilma Matchette on November 16, 2000. Most of you will remember that Vilma co-authored the book "World Colors" on ethnic dolls and dress with the Museum’s Curator Emeritus, Susan Hedrick, in 1996. This wonderful resource was just a small portion of what Vilma knew about world dress. Her expertise and potential will be sorely missed as well as her friendship and support of the Museum as a faithful docent. We are very pleased to announce that Vilma sold and donated much of her collection of resource books on costume to the Museum, inclusive with her notes and corrections on many.  We are establishing the Vilma Matchette Memorial Library with this great collection to remember Vilma and so that her lifetime of work will not go unnoticed nor be forgotten.  It will be available by appointment by calling the Museum sometime toward the end of 2001. We know you will find these books among the best in costume and textiles from the last hundred years and we are happy to share them with you in Vilma’s memory.
     Another dear friend and fellow doll club member, Luella Alvensleben, died on October 11th, 2000. She was a Charter member of the Seattle Doll and Toy Club and an active member for over fifty years. Luella will be remembered for her vast and excellent doll and bear collection and for her single handedly digging a basement under her house and completing it as her doll room. We’ll miss you, little Luella.


     Congratulations to Leone McMullen and Teresa Lehmbeck on their purchase of the long standing and one of the best ever doll shows "Doll Mart". Yvonne Baird started Doll Mart in 1979 and it launched many new collectors as well as provided outstanding dolls and toys to already avid collectors in this area. Julie Scott purchased this successful show when Yvonne retired, and now ten years later these two well-known sisters are running it in the same enjoyable and successful fashion. "Nothing’s going to change", said Leone, "the same quality antique and collectible merchandise, selected dealers, and location" at the Bellevue Inn in downtown Bellevue. Lots of parking, handy restaurant, bargain priced admission, and lots of fun! The Museum is proud to have been a part of this wonderful show since 1990. (On both sides of the table even longer). Check the Calendar of Events for dates and times. Thanks, Leone and Teresa, for carrying on a great tradition

-Rosalie A Whyel

Barbara Johnston

Mary Crittenden

Kathy Weisner

Marj Medina

Jane Elliott

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

Mary Bangasser
Doll bunk bed
c. 1920s

Karin Barth
Baby Berry "Mammy & Pappy Yokum" dolls
c. late 1950s

Virginia Black
Virginia Black doll posters

Chris Bracher
1800s wedding gown
30" doll

Helen Dianich
Antique doll quilt and doll dress

Robert and Dolores Eggers
Three-story shadowbox dollhouse
& "Bakery" room box

Gwen Kossman
1950s Ideal doll

Jeffrey A. Krebs
Two Japanese dolls
c. 1910s

Betsy Snyder
Two peg wooden dolls

Cleona Lind
1994 "Flinstones" plastic buildings
1999 "Inspector Gadget" doll
Miscellaneous ephemera

Vilma Matchette
Stork lamp
Doll patterns
Two straw ethnic hats
Miscellaneous ephemera

Susan Millington
18 regional dolls
c. 1950s

Alice O’Shea
Armand Marseille
"Dream Baby"

Jean Sprague
Paper & wood dollhouses & furniture

Bettyanne Twigg
Child’s crepe paper bluebird costume &
Crepe Paper Costumes booklet

Jeanne Venner
Doll clothing made by child c. 1866-67

We sincerely hope we have not excluded anyone.

For the Sophisticated and the Young at Heart…



Straight from New York City, the glamorous fashion capital, Madame Alexander debuts a chic new line: ALEX. Sophisticated and stylish, she boasts a number of trend-setting looks. Each stunning garment is handmade from today’s highest quality fabrics and beautifully coordinated accessories – everything you need to create the definitive fashion collection.



Robert Tonner reintroduces the 8" Betsy McCall! This high-quality doll for play and collecting is based on the original tiny Betsy. To the delight of mothers and daughters everywhere, she comes in darling new attire based on original paperdoll designs from the '50s. Or mix and match, choosing from different hair colors and outfits to suit your taste.

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


APRIL 7, 2001

"Miniature Workshop"

With Carl Bronsdon

Easter Theme
About the Workshop:
This class will be "hands on" working with fimo and students
will make miniatures that represent an Easter theme.

Please call Jennifer at the Museum for registration and information.(425) 455-1116

Lake City Elks Club
14540 Bothell Way NE
Seattle, WA
Saturday, January 27, 2001
Saturday, March 31, 2001
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Bellevue Best Western, Bellevue, WA
Sunday, February 11, 2001
11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Puyallup Fair Grounds
Saturday, March 17, 2001
11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 18, 2001
10:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Sponsored by
"Seattle Doll and Toy Collector’s Club"
Lake City Community Center,
Seattle, WA
Saturday, April 28, 2001
For table availability contact
Lisa Pepin, (206) 362-8723

*Look for the Museum sales table

JANUARY 20, 2001
CLOTH DOLL PROGRAM -Estelle Johnston-
Roxanna Cole Dolls
-Andrew Tabbat-
"Raggedy" Dolls

FEBRUARY 19, 2001
Presidents’ Day
Museum OPEN


APRIL 15, 2001
Easter Sunday


FEBRUARY 17, 2001
Public Opening of
"Something to Squint About"
Miniatures Exhibit
Exhibit will run through
May 13, 2001


APRIL 7, 2001
"Miniature Workshop"
With Carl Bronsdon
Easter Theme


MAY 19, 2001
"My Doll and Me"
Tea Party
In Leavenworth, WA
"Enzian Inn"- 1 to 3:30 pm
Guest Speaker:
Rosalie Whyel


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