Doll News Summer 2013 ~ From the Editor

editor-summer13

The glorious summer season is now upon us, and hopefully we will get to spend as much time as we can with friends and family. Attending convention is one of the most fun ways to spend time with your doll friends, and if you have all the graduations, weddings and births in your extended family that I have in mine right now, you’ll be in the loving circle of those you hold near and dear.

Our feature article introduces us to Marie Antoinette Leontine Rohmer, a devoted family woman who lived her life and dreams under strict social constraints. Through extensive research and study, two of our favorite authors, Michael Canadas and David Robinson bring us The Extraordinary House of Rohmer, the story of the remarkable Mme Rohmer whose creation of a family business and award winning dolls occurred at a time when such an endeavor for a young woman was truly extraordinary.

Speaking of original research, once again Marcie and Bob Tubbs have brought us a delightful article featuring the captivating dolls of the post-World War II era in their new article,Tailoring the Twinky Dolls, A Postwar Cottage Industry Chronicle. You’ll read the story of the enterprising Ethel Strong, who produced very special small dolls complete with intricate and detailed clothing, which are certain to amaze you. Who hasn’t fallen in love with the soulful dolls of R. John Wright? In Through the Eyes of Children, The Inspired Works of R. John Wright, Ellen McDaniel-Weissler takes us through the history of this talented doll designer’s life and his meticulous and timeless creations.

One of our favorite authors, Susan Dossetter regales us with the incredible true tale of a very special 17th century wooden doll in Catherine’s Story. Through Susan’s careful research and Catherine’s provenance, the unique history of this doll and others like her is revealed. Regular contributing author, Ann Leis brings us Treasures of a Miniaturist, The Story of Nada Christensen. With her customary empathic delivery and viewpoint, Ann brings us inside the unique world of a miniature doll artist and her charming work.

UFDC is appreciative of contributions to its museum collection, and Bradley Justice, the deserving winner of the Coleman scholarship tells the story of one such donor in his comprehensive article, Designing for Barbie, The Remarkable Career of Carol Spencer. Through Carol Spencer’s inside knowledge as Barbie’s chief designer, Bradley manages to preserve for collectors information never before researched, greatly contributing to future understanding of the iconic doll and her designers. The introduction of Barbie in 1959 made her a star in the doll world, and that is why she spawned so many imitators. In his striking and editorial article, We Are Not a Clone, Ian Price proves that some of the “other” fashion dolls of the same period are truly stars in their own right.

Does anyone love a beautiful American museum (especially one that contains dolls) more than author Karen Kurtz? You’ll enjoy seeing the appealing china dolls of the spectacular Bellingrath Gardens and Home in her article, Once in a Blue Moon, Doll Heads from the Bellingrath Collection. UFDC Coleman scholarship recipient, Jennifer Kohn Murtha presents her comparative research of the dolls of Schmitt, Mothereau and JM in her article, O, Schmitt! Jennifer painstakingly studied and compared the characteristics of the dolls of these companies and presents us with her own, compelling conclusion.

Rose Percy has done it again! You’ll feel as though you’ve attended this singular fundraising event on the Queen Mary through Rose’s personal souvenir album in Rose Percy’s Fantastic Voyage. Rose continues to benefit our country’s wounded veterans as only she can, and she makes us proud to be part of the doll world.

Nicki Burley and Stephanie Moore, two of the hardest working supporters of UFDC’s junior members presented an educational and entertaining mini regional conference just for our young collectors last April called, The Mad Hatter’s Mad SEA Party. Displays, workshops, and programs were all part of this remarkable event, proving that the juniors can enjoy functions of the same quality as the older folks. Congratulations on a job well done, Nicki and Stephanie!

This summer we’re fortunate to have our annual convention held in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Not only will we have the opportunity to view world-class exhibits and attend programs, workshops and seminars presented by the world’s leading doll experts, but the incomparable salesroom will provide the chance to bring home the doll of our dreams. I hope to see you there, and I hope you have a summer filled with the love and support of all your family and friends.

Denise