Spring 2012 From the Editor

It is said that spring is the season of optimism, when all things seem possible and “spring fever” is a feeling that can hardly be ignored.  One of the best parts of the onset of this most wonderful season is that once again, we are blessed with the blossoming of flowers of all kinds and colors.  A trip to our local arboretum yesterday found me surrounded by acres of flowering trees and shrubs such as camellias, cherry blossoms and lilacs just to name a few.  The smells and sights of spring surely make me feel optimistic.

One of the best things about belonging to UFDC is getting to know some pretty wonderful people just like you, our readers.  We send our heartfelt thanks to all of you who took time out of your busy lives to pass on to us your kind words of encouragement and support.  That causes me to feel optimistic, too; so much so that this issue is even larger than the last!

If you love Bleuette, this issue is for you!  One of the leading Bleuette experts in America, Barbara Hilliker, keeps us up to date with the amazing and complex history of this cherished doll through her comprehensive article, Bleuette… An Enduring Friendship.  If you’re not familiar with Bleuette, I hope that you will enjoy learning about her and how she was truly a part of her time, enduring and inspiring for fifty-five years.  Once again we are happy that the ever talented and award-winning paper doll artist, Gael Shults has created a special Bleuette for you to play with and dress.  No Bleuette spread would be complete without patterns for the clothing that was so much a part of her story, and the very talented AnneLise Wilhelmsen will bring you through a day in the life of Bluette in Un Jour Avec Bleuette, complete with fun projects and seven pages of authentic patterns.

In this issue we finish our presentation of the Special Exhibits seen at last year’s convention in Anaheim with three more exquisite examples.  “Long Live the King!” was the apt description of the stunning Kestner exhibit and featured the lovely Daisy who celebrated her 100th birthday.  The Crescent Bay Doll Fanciers of Southern California presented the beautiful and educational “Célébrations en Couleurs” exhibit, which celebrated the artistry of modern dolls of color.  “Small Delights:  The World of All-bisque Dolls” displayed a vast array of the tiny all-bisque treasures we all love.

Happily for us, Ann Leis continues her coverage of our cherished doll artists with her article, Floyd Bell, Master of Wood.  You will enjoy seeing how this artist imbues his wood creations with beauty, grace, and strength.  With the approach of our convention this year in New Orleans, Cynthia Orgeron offers coverage of a very special and extensive permanent crèche exhibit, Not Just Another Pretty Face, But an Awesome Collection, which you will want to see when you visit that part of the country this summer.

Don Jensen, deserving winner of the Nancy Carlson Scholarship for the Study of Composition Dolls, presents extensive, original research in his article, Goldberger:  A Pioneer Dollmaker Lives On.   This is the must-read story of an American family-run doll company, which has endured and prospered for almost one hundred years.  Ian Price, an author new to us, but not to the world of modern doll collecting, writes about the “groovy princesses of fashion” from the Italian firm, Furga.  Alta Moda, 60s High Fashion from Italy presents a comprehensive look at these highly sought-after dolls and the many haute couture fashions that were available to them.

Who doesn’t love to take a peek into another person’s collection?  Samy Odin does just that in his article, Visiting with the Hurfords, where we are invited into the lovely home of a pair of passionate collectors from Australia, where each piece is carefully selected and artfully displayed.  Last year in Alabama, Jill St. Clair Sturgeon participated in an exciting Hitty carving class, led by master carver, Janet Cordell, and tells us all about it in her article, Carving Hitty in the South.  When you see the results, I think you’ll want to try this yourself!

We’re presenting Part I of the exciting blue ribbon winners from last year’s competitive exhibit at the convention in Anaheim.   Also, Junior Collector Co-Coordinator, Cheryl Brown-Greene and junior member leader, Stephanie Moore have presented an exciting look at the “Junior Collectors Tea,” in which our junior members were exposed to all that is fun and educational about attending convention.  For our antique paper doll collectors, you’ll enjoy our story of prima ballerina, Marie Taglioni and an 1830 reproduction of the dancer and four of her costumes from the fabulous collection of Doll News associate editor, Laurie McGill.

Speaking of special exhibits, we will be treated to a beautiful one this summer in New Orleans, which Samy Odin previews for us in his article, Exquisite Ephemera.  Be sure to visit this feast for the eyes from the collection of Guido Odin when you attend convention.  In Rose Percy Comes to Gaithersburg, portrait artist Jennifer Kohn-Murtha offers a charming, personal account of her experience of this hardworking Sanitary Fair doll’s second fundraising event.

To continue along the lines of optimism, you’ll be pleased to see how the UFDC website has grown and developed, thanks to the efforts of volunteer member and new Website Editor, Maria Greene.  Please make her acquaintance on page 214 of this issue and enjoy browsing through your new website when you visit ufdc.org.  Thank you, Maria!

Denise