OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE ROSALIE WHYEL MUSEUM OF DOLL ART
1116 - 108th Avenue NE* Phone: (425) 455-116 * Fax: (425) 455-4793
ROSIE’S TOO * 221 106th Ave NE Bellevue * (425) 455-0363

 

Vol. XIII, No 2 Spring 2004

Inside this edition of Small Wonders...


Dazzling Couples in Cultural Dress;
Traphagen Collection Part III

May 22nd through October 31st

Thirty dolls attired in authentic regional festival costuming will be the colorful centerpieces of our next Changing Gallery exhibit. These dolls represent the third and final installation of dolls acquired from the Traphagen School of Fashion. Last to be shown, but definitely not least, the dolls are part of a series produced by the L & R Baitz Company, which also includes twenty-six child dolls dressed in historical costuming and twenty-five dolls representing early theater actresses. (Information about the first two collections, and about the history of the school can be found in our Summer 2001 and Spring 2003 newsletters.)



The dolls, most of which are in male-female pairings, represent fifteen European and Asian countries (or former countries), including China, Japan, Czechoslovakia and Spain. The fabric and trimmings used to make the costumes were all imported from the countries the dolls represent. Former Traphagen School curator, Phyllis Spenser, verified the costumes’ authenticity by comparing them to the school’s own vast ethnic costume collection.

The dolls’ expressive faces were sculpted by Lilli Baitz. “Even the bone structure in their faces is accurate for the people they represent”, noted Spenser. The arms and legs were also sculpted by Baitz. The dolls, which average twenty-four inches in height, were then assembled and costumed by a family of artists and dressmakers living in Austria.

Accompanying the dazzling couples of the Traphagen collection will be many other antique and modern dolls dressed in regional costuming. In order to narrow the focus of the exhibit, however, we will not be showing native-made ethnic dolls, rather dolls dressed by one culture to represent another.
We hope you will have a little time this summer to come tour the world of regional dolls with us!

-Jill Gorman
Curator


from the director...

Looking for one good man? How about a whole roomful? Well, we have them and a lot of sweet boys as well in our latest changing gallery “Dashing Men and Adorable Boys”. It is our tribute to the male gender and their presence in our lives. If there isn’t your type here, it might be hopeless. But hurry, this exhibit closes on May 16, 2004. We just couldn’t get a longer commitment from the dolls….

Enter Traphagen Part III Ethnic Pairs. If you were enchanted with the Character Children Part I of the Traphagen School of Fashion dolls exhibited 2 years ago or mesmerized by the Actresses Part II shown last year, you will be equally delighted with this rare collection of dolls dressed as pairs in the style of 15 different cultures. The textiles, the scale, and the beauty of each individually sculpted ethnic man and woman is testament to the great talent of Lilli Baitz and the Austrian family who worked with her in the dolls’ creation in the 1920s and 30s.

We feel so very fortunate to have acquired and been able to exhibit all of this fine collection of 83 dolls for our visitors in the last two years. And we are so very grateful to the past curator of the Traphagen School, Phyllis Spenser, who was responsible for keeping these amazing documents of fashion together and cared for when the school was forced to close and disperse its amassed collections.
As always, we will include other fine and rare ethnic dolls from our collection in the exhibit. What better way to treat your visiting family and friends this summer than with a visit to this exhibit? Better yet, what better way to treat yourself than with a relaxing day in the galleries, one on one with the dolls – a true cultural emersion?

ANNOUNCING THE JEAN SPRAGUE MINIATURE GALLERY
We are pleased and delighted to announce the dedication of our modern miniature gallery to Seattleite and renowned miniaturist Jean Sprague. Many of you know that Jean was responsible for there being a miniature wing included in the original plans for the Museum. It was while we were still in the planning stages that I first met Jean. She had founded the Jean Sprague Guild for Children’s Hospital and annually held a miniature show with proceeds going to support the Hospital’s work. Besides her work on the Museum of History and Industry and the Washington State Arts Commission boards she was a founding president of the Centrum Foundation. However, her most memorable contribution in the miniature world was the coordination of the replica of George and Martha Washington’s mansion Mt. Vernon which was a gift to the Mt. Vernon estate from the people of Washington State. We were honored to have been the first venue where this masterpiece was displayed before its two year journey around the United States.



Her question to me back then was “Are you going to include miniatures in the Museum?” I replied that I did not have enough to comprise a worthy exhibit. “Would you consider it if I were to loan you the miniatures to fill a room?” she inquired. “There are a lot of miniaturists in this area who would be thrilled to visit a museum where miniatures would be displayed.” The answer was a hearty “Yes” and, of course, one room led to two rooms, a modern and an antique, because Jean was so right. Her loaned rooms have been on exhibit along with many more that Jean has created either by herself or with friend and fellow miniaturist Antonio Martenez over the last 11+ years.

We felt it only appropriate that we honor Jean for her suggestion, sharing, and continued dedication to the world of miniatures and the resulting legacy, both philanthropic and cultural. A plaque in the gallery will have been installed by the time you receive this newsletter and we hope you will come visit the Jean Sprague Miniature Gallery on the first floor of the Museum soon and often to enjoy Jean’s room boxes as well as the many others that have been acquired because of her guidance and generosity. Please feel free to leave a comment card for Jean and we will see that she receives it.

-Rosalie A Whyel
Director


Welcome To Our New & Returning Members:

Boots Browne

Hap Crawford

Wendy C. Degginger

Nancy M. Evans

Nancy Greenawalt

Heather Hansen

Mary Heisserman

Carole D. Kipp

Antonio Martenez

Mary R. Randall

Jan Rohrmann

Marilyn Sherry

Christopher Toncray

Joyce Coughlin

Johanna Dargatz

Laurae Dunning

Gretchen Gould

Nancy Hamilton

Barbara Heib

Estelle Johnston

Diane La Forge

Marsha Marquart

Laura Reynolds

Helen Shannon

Tavener Family

Lindy Tubby


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

Barbara L. Donnelly
Cloth doll

Lola Fast
Doll-related books, magazines, patterns

Beth Giske
Patti Playpal doll

Vesta T. Loyd
NASB doll
Donated in memory of Patricia Crandall Steinemann

Michael Langton & Jan Goldress
“Elmer” sketch and related ephemera

Mrs. Ruth Matthews
Patsy Joan doll clothing

Ruth Osborn
Poster of lady with dolls

Marcia P. Patience
Doll magazines, doll calendars

Kathy Ross
“Alice” 2-room soft sculpture scene
“Chez Moi” rhinestone house

Darla Vail
1950s plastic doll

Irene Yawney
Doll magazines


From the Museum Store...

Exciting News - As many of you have requested, we now have in Michael Langton’s version of his original Elmer. Limited to 100 pieces,with only a few left in the edition, this doll is made of a unique material called PorceliteTM which has an amazing likeness to the wooden original. He is fully poseable, due to his five joints and swivel waist, and retails for $395. Elmer comes in his own wooden box with a certificate of authenticity, his incredible story, and artist profile. Don’t miss this opportunity to own a piece of Michael Langton’s work which is so hard to come by and of the finest quality. The original Elmer doll is currently on display in our Changing Gallery - a must see attraction!

 

 

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


Show Dates

WILLOWBRIDGE ANTIQUE SHOW*
Pickering Barn
Issaquah WA
Sunday April 4, 2004
10am - 4pm
NANCY JO’S DOLL SHOW*
Vallejo Fairgrounds
Vallejo CA
Friday April 30, 2004
12pm - 4pm
Saturday May 1, 2004
9am - 3pm
ANTIQUE & COLLECTIBLE DOLL FLEA MARKET*
Lake City Commumity Center
Seattle WA
Saturday May 15, 2004
10am - 3pm
PACIFIC NORTHWEST DOLL COLLECTORS CLUB SHOW
Lake City Community Center
Seattle WA
Saturday June 5, 2004
10am - 3pm
NADDA*
(National Antique Doll Dealers Assocation)
Embassy Suites LAX South
Los Angeles CA
Saturday April 24, 2004
11am - 5pm
Sunday April 25, 2004
10am - 3pm
ANTIQUE DOLL & TOY MART*
Bellevue Inn Red Lion
Bellevue WA
Sunday May 2, 2004
11am - 4pm
THE GREAT DOLL SALE
Red Lion Hotel
Pasco WA
Saturday May 22, 2004
10am - 3pm
CROSSROADS DOLL & TEDDY BEAR SHOW*
Puyallup Fairgrounds
Puyallup WA
Saturday June 26, 2004
10am - 4:30pm
Sunday June 27, 2004
10am - 4pm

*Look for the Museum sales table


Museum Events
APRIL 11 2004
Easter Day
Museum CLOSED
MARCH 6 - MAY 16 2004
“Those Dashing Men and Adorable Boys”
Changing Gallery Exhibit
MAY 6 - 8 2004
Doll Appraisal Clinic
at Rosie’s Too
During Regular Hours
MAY 9 2004
Mother’s Day
Museum OPEN
MAY 22 2004
Program by Richard Wright
2 p.m. Rose Room
(see page 3)
MAY 22 - OCTOBER 31 2004
“Dazzling Couples In Cultural Dress”
Traphagen School Dolls Part III
Changing Gallery Exhibit
MAY 27 - 29 2004
Rosie’s Too SALE
During Regular Hours
MAY 31 2004
Memorial Day
Museum OPEN

NEW ACQUISITION!
It seems only appropriate with the dedication of the Jean Sprague Miniature Gallery to announce the recent procurement of a special dollhouse that has been on loan from Sharon Swanson for the last several years. The ½” scale house was built and decorated by another well-known Seattle miniaturist, the late Louise Feek, Sharon’s aunt.
We have great admiration for anyone who can see and create in this tiny scale. Louise was in her 70s when she built this house and many of the tiny dolls, needlepoint rugs, and wee furniture. Please come renew your acquaintance with this little masterpiece. You’ll be amazed all over again.


Other Museum Tidbits!

Just as we were going to press, we heard the sad news of the passing of miniaturist Jean Sprague. Only 2 weeks earlier, I had visited Jean in a nursing home and asked if she would like us to name the modern miniature gallery after her. In her own very inimitable style she threw her arms in the air and said “Yippee!” I replied “I’ll take that as a ‘Yes’.” She said she would be honored to have the gallery named after her. Dear Jean, it is we who are honored. We just regret she will not be here to enjoy it again or to add another room box to an already amazing collection of her creations. It was her deepest passion and she still had plans for several very special miniatures in mind at her death.
Our sympathies go out to her family and the many friends she acquired over her long and illustrious life. She was a great fan and supporter of the Museum. We will miss her greatly.
ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!
Would you like to help support the Museum? We will now be emailing our quarterly newsletters right to you, providing you have the capability, as we know most of you are computer savvy. The Museum provides the newsletter, Small Wonders, free of charge and with rising printing and postage costs, we feel this is the best answer. And you will be receiving a printable version exactly like the published one only more timely. Help us keep costs down and receive notice of events and exhibits faster by signing up today to receive our newsletter via email. Just email us at dollart@dollart.com to sign up or find out more about it. INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIBERS WILL NEED TO SIGN UP BY THE FALL 2004 ISSUE. Thank you for your support which will allow us to provide better exhibits, events, and programs for you.

Richard Wright Program

The Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art is proud to be welcoming doll enthusiast Richard Wright! Many of you may know him as a doll and toy expert from the “Antiques Road Show”. Richard has agreed to be a presenter for our final installment of the Traphagen Collection as it was he who connected us to it originally. Having been an avid doll collector his entire life and even opening up his first shop at age 14, Richard is recognized for his expertise in antique dolls - from wooden to bisque! Please join us for an intimate lecture with Richard Wright and his vast knowledge of dolls and wonderful sense of humor.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
2 p.m. Rose Room

Seating is Limited. Reserved seats required. Museum Members Free, Non-Members $3.
Call the Museum at (425)455-1116.

Thank You!

“Shades of Mourning” presenters Atha Kahler and Joyce Coughlin drew a standing room only crowd who just couldn’t hear enough about the history of mourning clothing, dolls, jewelry, and traditions. The program and temporary exhibit were so successful, we were asked if the museum would consider doing a changing gallery with the same subject. The answer is, of course, “Yes”! Especially if Joyce would be willing to share her amazing collection again and if Atha would share her research. Thank you to both of these ladies and to all who attended on February 29. We look forward to enlarging on this fascinating subject in the future.

Another “thank you” to Michael Langton “father” of Elmer, the little wooden boy who starred in “On Golden Pond” with the famous Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. His delightful programs added a whole new dimension to an already unforgettable movie. We’ll never be able to watch it again without feeling extremely fortunate to not only know Michael but to be the lucky new owner of Elmer. You, too, can have an Elmer of your very own to sit and watch the movie with as Michael has created a limited number of these dolls in PorceliteTM that we are carrying in the Museum Store! See details on page 3 in this newsletter.

MUSEUM HOURS: Mon-Sat 10am to 5pm, Sun 1pm to 5pm
ROSIE’S TOO HOURS:
Tues-Sat 11am to 4pm, Thurs 11am to 8pm, Closed Sunday & Monday


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