Fall 2015 – From the Editor
“You’ll never leave us, will you?” asked Michael Banks in P.L. Travers’ book, Mary Poppins. “I’ll stay until the wind changes,” replied Mary. I find this exchange particularly poignant now as my term as editor of Doll News draws to a close. I thank Past President Linda Edward and the Executive Committee for giving me this rare opportunity to serve our organization in such a way. And I extend deep appreciation to my dedicated staff, to our graphics designers, to the authors and artists who have contributed their knowledge and talent during my two-year term.
In this issue we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Johnny Gruelle’s patent for what became the universally beloved doll, Raggedy Ann. Candy heartfelt gratitude goes to Jonathan Green for sharing his expertise on the topic and to Patricia Corte Rooney for her accompanying paper doll. It is a sincere honor to have Johnny Gruelle’s granddaughter, Joni Gruelle Wannamaker, and her husband, Tom, tell of some special, yet little known, murals painted by Johnny in the early 1920s. Continuing her family’s rich artistic legacy, Joni shares a paper doll to celebrate not only Raggedy Ann’s 100th birthday but also Raggedy Andy’s 95th. Paula Richardson has compiled a collection of special memories from some of Raggedy’s long-time faithful followers.
We look back at UFDC’s 66th Annual Convention, “A Dream Come True,” with Jill Kaar Hanson’s recap of the entertaining and educational activities. Loretta Nardone relates the history of the McKim family, illustrated with photographs from the special exhibit, Kimport Dolls from the Whole Wide World. Ann Leis tells the story of NIADA artist, Dewees Cochran, while honoring the extensive Cochran Archive now housed at UFDC headquarters. Janet Gula maps out the road UFDC took to achieve founder Mary Lewis’ long ago dream—a state of the art doll museum. AnneLise Wilhelmsen and Gael Shults have created a dress pattern, a cut-and-sew cloth doll and a quilt for our convention souvenir doll, Stella.
Elizabeth Ann Coleman continues the back story of UFDC’s emblem, Miss Unity, with an addendum to an article that appeared in the summer 2015 issue of Doll News. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Gae Ward appropriately shares her charming collection of wishbone dolls. We bid a fond farewell to Mary Krombholz with her final article for Doll News about German dolls’ house dolls. Penny Hadfield and Cheryl Williams regale us with their impressive research on Frozen Charlies.
Linda Baumgarten (Curator of Textiles and Costumes) tells of the early dolls and their fine clothing at Colonial Williamsburg, while Val Copley gives an in-depth account of Richmond, Virginia doll carver, Fred Laughon. Pat Burns takes us to San Francisco’s Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 where Madame Alexander’s Dionne Quintuplets played an important role. Jill Kaar Hanson offers her final installment of her trilogy on magazine paper dolls, and Nicki Burley treats our Junior Collectors to a peek inside Mary Frances’ doll house and how to keep it tidy.
It’s autumn, and the wind is changing. I leave Doll News now in the capable care of our experienced incoming editor, Cynthia Musser. I wish her the very best.
Have a happy holiday season!