Winter 2013 From the Editor
Last September I had the rare privilege of seeing the last flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour as it wended it’s way through the skies of Los Angeles and it’s environs. Admittedly, it was a last minute decision to try to find an optimum spot for viewing, and I hoped that I wouldn’t be too late, as we weren’t given a specific time for the fly-over. I chose an area on a small hill near the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Pasadena overlooking a freeway and the San Gabriel Mountains, which provided a wide vista and the thankfully the skies were clear. Slowly but steadily people started gathering, quietly talking; strangers with a common interest and strong sense of patriotism. When the Endeavour finally appeared perched atop the 747 it was awe-inspiring and beautiful, bright white against the blue sky, the escort jets appearing tiny in its wake. A bonus to this incredible event was the unexpected experience of camaraderie with my fellow viewers. To paraphrase a journalist, it was a positive event that brought Americans together and not a disaster. How wonderful is that! Unfortunately these times seem to be few and far between, but we are lucky because we have our love of dolls to bring us together; we can share, learn, and bridge differences.
Our feature article, The Japanese Friendship Dolls of 1927 and the Birth of the Japanese Art Doll by Alan Scott Pate proves how bridges can be built between nations to bypass differences and unite the children of the world for the sake of better relations in the future. In his article, Alan Scott Pate gives the reader the entire story of the phenomenal Japanese Friendship dolls through to the modern day Japanese Art Dolls, all coming from a country which honors its doll makers and doll making traditions. This is a reference article you will want to keep. New to us, is author Robert Keeter who brings us the article Hair Care Dolls of the 50s! a look at the marvelously coiffured midcentury dolls that many of us remember drooling over as children. You’ll love seeing Bob’s beautiful dolls and enjoy the story of their rise to doll royalty.
Since childhood, author Margaret Kincaid has been inspired by the books and illustrations of renowned artist Tasha Tudor. Margaret decided to build a dollhouse of her own, which is accurate in detail to the one in Tasha Tudor’s iconic book, The Dolls’ Christmas. Here Margaret’s dollhouse is decorated for Christmas in a way that even Tasha Tudor would approve and enjoy. Ann Leis brings another wonderful artist to the forefront in her article, Sandra Wright Justiss – An Artist of Passions. In her usual perceptive and sensitive manner, Ann explains how Ms. Justiss developed as an artist through her lifelong love of dolls, becoming a well-respected ODACA and UFDC award winner.
New author, Jennifer Craft-Hurst writes about the special collection she acquired from a woman who once collected dolls from all over the world in Window in Time: The Nunan Collection. Hazel Nunan believed in teaching through dolls, and as the present caretaker of her extensive collection, Jennifer Craft-Hurst happily follows in her footsteps. Doll costumer Dale Rensing has brought a wonderful article explaining the styles and fabrics that are appropriate for dressing your French bébés. Elements of Style, French Bébé Costumes of the Early 1880s instructs through lovely photographs, illustrations and text that you will want to refer to many times. In the Style of…A Conversation about the Dolls and Miniatures of Robin Thompson by Jill Kaar Hanson tells the story behind the carved, wooden dolls that Robin Thompson does so beautifully. You’ll learn what inspires the artist and understand the love and care that goes into each one of her pieces.
We’re so lucky to have, once again, the collaboration of two very talented ladies. Award-winning doll costumer AnneLise Wilhelmsen tells the story of Edwardian fashion in Dear Diary…Fashionable Days from the Life of a German Lady and provides original patterns for a wardrobe for a 12-inch Gibson Girl-type doll. Award-winning paper doll artist Gael Shults has offered an original paper doll called Evelyn at Home. Evelyn is an elegant Edwardian lady anticipating a special party where she hopes to see a very special guy! She will wear costumes found in the pages of AnneLise’s article, and you’ll enjoy choosing her clothing and authentic accessories and helping her dreams come true!
Once again, Niki Burley writes a story for our junior collectors that we older folk will enjoy as well. Adventurous, Unstoppable Hitty brings the reader from the very beginning of Hitty’s story to the many artists who are inspired to try making a Hitty of their very own. You, too, can try your hand at making a Hitty doll for yourself, thanks to the talent of paper doll artist, Gael Shults. Gael has provided a darling Hitty cloth “pancake” doll to sew, clothe, and play with in many different ways.
Baby Cakes, UFDC Junior Collectors Tea, New Orleans 2012 is the coverage of last summer’s activity-filled event for our junior collectors during convention. Jeri Robinson and Cheryl Brown-Greene have brought it to life for you and provide many photographs of the happy children enjoying their very own event.
Crème de la Crème! Part I of the Blue Ribbon winners from the Competitive Exhibit in New Orleans debuts in this issue. Proof that UFDC members have the best dolls in the world, we hope they will inspire you to bring your best to Washington, D.C. We’ve also included, in this issue, pages of background and information on the upcoming convention in Washington, D.C. as well as the introduction of the 2013 award-winning souvenir doll artist, Robert Tonner. Hopefully this will whet your appetite for a trip this summer to our nation’s capital city for days of doll fun and sightseeing.