Fall 2017 The Authors

Little Women – Region 15 Conference Report

 

Burgarella, The Master of Italian Compo Dolls

by Samy Odin

Samy Odin has been collecting dolls since 1981. Samy founded, owned, and until recently, was the Director of the Musée de la Poupée-Paris. 

He holds a masters degrees in French language and literature from the University of Turin and the University of Lyon, and has been teaching French and Italian from 1987 to 1994 in Italy and in France. 

He is the author of more than 20 books about antique dolls, among which Les Poupées de la SFBJ, Les Poupées, Mignonnette, Bleuette, Fascinating Dolls from Musée de la Poupée-Paris, Images Exquises, Bécassine unveils Loulotte’s Treasure as well as articles in doll magazines such as Doll News, Antique Doll Collector, Doll Reader, Geppetto, Puppenmagazin, Gildebrief, La Bacchetta Magica, Collections and Ours et Poupées.

As a researcher, Samy is focused on antique European dolls and doll-related ephemera and documentary material. Sharing his passion for dolls with his father, Guido, Samy has also developed expertise in areas such as paper dolls, Victorian scraps and children’s books illustrated with images pertaining to dolls and toys. Through the Musée de la Poupée-Paris, founded in 1994, Samy shares his expertise by giving lectures, seminars, public and private appraisals, guided tours, and setting up special doll exhibitions in various institutions in Europe and other countries. He is also the co-founder of the Ecole des Poupées together with Margaret G. Kincaid.

Samy belongs to international doll collector’s organizations such as UFDC and DCA. Recipient of UFDC’s Award of Excellence in 2010, Samy Odin presently serves on UFDC’s Collections Oversight Committee.

 

Une Journée de la Poupée
UFDC 2017 National Convention Report
by Cynthia E. Musser

 

Ethel Newcome, the Handsomest Doll in Philadelphia

UFDC National Convention Special Exhibit
 by Susan Foreman

Susan Foreman was born in Los Angeles, California; grew up in Burbank (where her earliest memories are of playing with the now highly collectible hard plastic Madame Alexander dolls) and spent weekends and summers at the family beach house in Balboa.

When Susan was 13, her mother died suddenly. Life changed. Although dolls had held a very special place in Susan’s early years, they were now set aside to pursue more practical matters. Susan went on to college, earning an Associate Arts Degree from Pierce College, attending UCLA and eventually receiving a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business from Woodbury College in Los Angeles.

Susan met Jay Foreman in 1970, and two years later they were married. Not only did they become husband and wife, but business partners as well. Working together, they built their Los Angeles business, House of Clocks (founded by Jay in 1955), to be one of the foremost watch repair shops in the United States, employing up to 55 people at one point. As the business grew, so did Susan’s interest in horology. To this day she relishes the challenge of researching the history of a timepiece. In 1990 she and her late husband decided it was time to leave the big city and move to Cambria, a small town on California’s central coast. In 1991 they opened Once Upon a Tyme, specializing in watches, clocks and dolls.

During the 1970s, in addition to racing automobiles (Porsche in Sports Car Club of America and Osca in Vintage Races) and taking care of the financial matters of a growing business, Susan’s love for dolls was rekindled. In 1975 Susan received a phone call from her father. He had just retrieved two boxes from storage. The boxes were marked “Susan’s Dolls.” The boxes contained not only her beloved Madame Alexander “Cissy,” “Lissy,” “Cissette,” “Elise,” “Alexander-kins,” and “Little Genius,” but two bisque dolls from the 1890s that had belonged to her grandmother and great aunt. Her childhood love of dolls as playthings evolved into an adult love of collecting.

As a collector, however, the dolls that called to Susan were not those of her childhood, but rather those of her grandmother’s day – dolls from the 1870s to 1915. French bébés and German character dolls are particular favorites.

In order to better understand how antique bisque dolls were made, Susan learned the techniques of porcelain doll making from the casting of the porcelain to the painting of the features and the creating of the costumes. During the 1990s she taught porcelain doll making; and in 1995 one of her creations, 15-inch “Alice” depicting Vivian Tobin, the first Alice in Wonderland to star on the American stage in 1915, received Best of Show honors at the Mid-State Fair.

She has presented doll collecting programs for a variety of organizations including the 1990 and 2015 UFDC Region 2-S Conferences. She has written articles for such publications as Antique Doll Collector, Doll News, and, the no longer published, Dolls magazine. She contributed an article for the UFDC 2014 Convention Souvenir Journal, Shared Passions.  In addition she has written numerous horological articles for the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors including one about collecting and displaying character watches with dolls depicting that character, thus sharing doll collecting with a completely new group of people.

In 2011 she published her research about the little known, and previously undocumented, California Bisque Doll Company. Here findings appeared in Antique Doll Collector magazine. Prior to Susan’s research little was known of this company, with the exception of one short paragraph in the Coleman’s Collector’s Encyclopedia of Dolls.

Susan currently belongs to two UFDC clubs, California Scenic Coast Doll Club and the Carmel Doll and Toy Study Group. While Susan has numerous interests, dolls continue to be her passion. She says of dolls, “They bring me great joy.”

 

Kämmer & Reinhardt’s 
100 Series

by Julie Blewis

Our feature article author, Julie Blewis has been collecting dolls for over 20 years with a particular interest in French and German bisque dolls focusing on character faces. She was a practicing attorney for about 15 years. Julie has written for Doll News and Antique Doll Collector magazines. Julie also served an advertising manager for Doll News, has been a judge at UFDC conventions, given seminars, and is big supporter of the UFDC Doll Museum. She is a longtime member of Dollology Club of Washington, D.C. Currently she is part of a small group forming a new club in Florida called SWF Antique Doll Study Guild. She is also in the Naples Doll Club. Happily married Julie has two children, two cats and a French bulldog.

 

The Campbell Kids 
and Other Early 
Grace Drayton Dolls

by Ursula Mertz

Ursula R. Mertz Joined Shaker Doll Club in 19975 and was Regional Director for UFDC Region 14 from 1991 -1994. Over 
the years, Ursula has been active at the local and national levels, giving programs on American composition
 dolls. In 1999 and 2001, published two books about American composition dolls, Collector’s Encyclopedia of American Composition Doll 1900-1950, Vol. I & II.

For more than 20 years she published regular
 columns about compo dolls in Doll Reader and Antique Doll Collector magazine as well as contributing articles to many other doll publications including DoLL NEWS. In 2001 she received the UFDC Award for Exhibition of Dolls. At the annual UFDC National Convention Ursula has served as a judge at the competitive exhibit, has given programs, taught seminars and contributed to special displays for many years.

 

The Colorful Characters 
of Joseph Kallus

by Woolsey Ackerman

Woolsey Ackerman has been influenced by the world of dolls and movies since he was a kid. When his mother inherited her grandmother’s collection of dolls that had been acquired while living in Europe in the 1920s the collector bug bit. The family had run an opera house and movie theatre between 1890 and the late 1950s and Woolsey grew up with stories of the old movies and days of touring vaudeville. Discovering at an early age that dolls and toys had been an integral part of the merchandising and publicity of movies since films beginning he saw a unique way to combine his passions. He has pursued this since, making the history of the movies his lifelong career. Susan, his mother, along with father, Richard, continue the main collection to this day.

As a kid Woolsey saved his money from paper routes and playing church organ to start the movie division of the collection. Billie Nelson Tyrell helped out with her then mail order business of the best old movie dolls out there! Over the past 30 years some of the finest and most rare of the genre have become a part of the collection. Though sometimes difficult to retain, the collection with it’s many personalities and characters (including variations and artist creations of those celebrated persons) has been kept intact, telling the history of movie merchandising between 1913 and 1970.

Ackerman came to Los Angeles right out of college and was able to get in on the ground floor when interest in the preservation of film history started. First working for the Director’s Guild of America, he got his feet wet in Hollywood and met some of the movies most influential directors. That led to a job at Ted Turner’s new company when Ted acquired the great MGM, Warner Brothers, RKO film library. There he became researcher and archivist for the publishing division which produced coffee table books on the movies, including the award winning WHEN THE LION ROARS. That lead to a documentary and then a whole new career working on all aspects of research and production for Turner Classic Movies, producing documentaries, DVD presentations, books , music CDs and the interstitial presentations which the network continues to broadcast to this day. It meant meeting and working with all the legends of old Hollywood too, including some of those personalities represented in the collection of dolls including Shirley Temple, Margaret O’Brien, Jane Withers, Lauren Bacall, Shari Lewis, Sybil Jason, Jackie Cooper, Baby Peggy, and Susan Dey. A stint with fellow collector Barbra Streisand archiving and cataloging her collection of career memorabilia for auction followed along with work in various aspects of film memorabilia, film archiving and film making.

In his various travels in the close knit Hollywood group of historians he met celebrity photographer Stephen Paley who is working on a photo book of interesting and unique Hollywood characters. He felt that Woolsey and the collection could be an image he might feature in such a project, and thus a panoramic display photo came to be. This photo lead to “America Now” producer and writer Jeff Copeland deciding to do a series of segments for the news show about movie related dolls, the first airing in Oct. 2013. That segment showed the scope of the collection and focused on Shirley Temple and Judy Garland dolls. A future segment will feature a rare Rudolph Valentino doll. These can be viewed today on YouTube.

During the past two years, he has worked closely with Theriault’s and the Shirley Temple Black family. First in assisting in the cataloging of her career memorabilia collection that was presented in the LOVE, SHIRLEY TEMPLE touring exhibit, catalog and auction; then in the presentation of several museum exhibitions honoring Temple and utilizing his collection and those of others. This work continues.

He has also served as a go to person in research for the movie related dolls designed by R. John Wright and Robert Tonner.

Woolsey feels that the art of doll collecting should be presented to the general public to promote an understanding and interest in it. Most everyone can relate to the movie genre. Many of us owned a representation of one of our favorite movie characters as a kid. Woolsey plans to continue sharing information about the collection through articles, books, TV shows, exhibits and hopes that one day this genre of doll will be a part of a movie related museum.

 

“Life is like a Box of Chocolates”
Annual 
ODACA Luncheon 
by Cynthia E. Musser

 

Tuck Comb Paper Doll Ornament

Drawn by Victoria Christopherson

My mother encouraged both my doll collecting and my art. As a child she made clothes for my dolls when she had scraps from the clothes she made me. Many of these I still have, and I remember both the doll outfit and the clothing. She also encouraged my art by giving me positive feedback instead of criticism. I drew my first paper doll at the age of 12. I am currently a member of the Original Paper Doll Artists Guild (OPDAG). My paper dolls are first drawn in pen and ink then color is added using transparent watercolors. It is my hope that having the black and white paper dolls available to be colored by young people will help to encourage the creativity that they need for approaching life skills.

As a UFDC member from Region 11 and I am currently the president of the Chesapeake Doll Club of Maryland. I have enjoyed learning more about the history of dolls, doll costuming and doll repair. I enjoy making my own one-of-a-kind dolls out of cloth and hand carved from basswood and mahogany. I have enjoyed researching and doing presentations on subjects like Advertising Dolls, Metal Head Dolls, Celluloid Dolls, China Head Dolls, Paper Dolls, and Victorian Doll Costuming 1890 -1900. I teach workshops including doll clothing, shoes and accessories plus ornaments made using my paper-dolls, fabric and trims.

I have a BS degree from the University of Pittsburgh and I currently enjoy teaching a watercolor techniques class that includes lessons containing step-by-step illustrations.

 

Raphael Tuck Costume – Pattern for the 2017 Convention Souvenir Doll

by Susan Sirkis

Susan is a Past President of UFDC and a UFDC Award of Merit award recipient. Susan and Mike publish THE WISH BOOKLETS, specializing in videos and booklets for creative doll and miniature collectors.

Susan and Mike, a retired Army officer, have been married 62 years. Their three children are grown and away from home pursuing lives of their own. Susan and Mike have five grandsons, a granddaughter, and a great grandson.

THE WISH BOOKLETS have 33 titles in print and have produced 20 do-it-yourself doll videos on related subjects. Susan may be reached through her website, www.susansirkis.com

 

The Simply Elegant Simplicity Ladies
By Bernice Millman

BERNICE MILLMAN
Bernice Millman is a lifetime resident of Baltimore, Maryland. She attended Maryland Institute of Art. Bernice has been married for 63 years to her husband, Jerry, a retired general practice dentist. They have three married children and six grandkids. They live with a rotten, spoiled Wiemaraner named Gretchen and a parrot named Sammi.

Bernice is a member of Chesapeake Doll Club, Dollology Club of Washington, D.C., Lady Baltimore Doll Study Club, and the Doll Collectors Club of Great Britain.
She has conducted many seminars and lectures about antique dolls, both locally and nationally as well as leading many Doll Dialogues at UFDC National Conventions. She has mounted several antique doll exhibits, both locally and nationally (one at one of the UFDC National Conventions).

Bernice has conducted classes on collecting antique dolls at a local community college and published many articles about antique and collectible dolls in national doll magazines. She says, ”Besides my grandchildren, my most favorite topic of discussion is antique dolls.”

 

Some of My Favorite Dolls

UFDC 2017 Souvenir Artist Special Exhibit
 By Artist Helen Kish

Talented NIADA doll artist, Helen Kish, was born in Denver, Colorado, one of a family of eight children. She displayed her artistic talent from an early age. Like many collectors she was passionate about her dolls. And she loved paper dolls as well; these she not only created but also showered them with extensive wardrobes.

After graduating from high school, Helen eventually moved to New York City for the summer. There she met Tamas Kish, later to become her husband and business partner. Returning to Denver and preparing for the birth of their first child, Helen began making dolls using synthetic clay. From this beginning she experimented with different materials, took classes, studied, learned, experimented and honed her craft. She named her business “Helen Kish Originals,” and sold her work primarily at shows from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. She also did freelance designs for The Franklin Mint, The Danbury Mint, the San Francisco Music Box Company, and The Hamilton Collection.

In 1981 Helen was accepted into the National Institute of American doll Artists (NIADA). She served two terms as the organization’s president, from 1991-1995. At the same time in 1991, Kish & Company was formed for the production of her vinyl dolls. Over the years Kish & Company has become known and respected worldwide for high quality collectors’ dolls. Her mediums range from vinyl and porcelain doll to one-of-a-kind sculptures of clay, porcelain, bronze and stoneware, and even jewelry.

This year she created the souvenir doll for the UFDC National Convention, “Ma Petite.”

 

Toy Shop Windows: Through the Eyes of a Child
UFDC National Convention Special Exhibit 
by Alicia Carver and 
Barbara Close

Alicia Carver is a retired educator who has been a passionate antiques collector since her student days in Boston, Massachussetts. She discovered dolls after the Internet became available when a friend asked her to sell some dolls for him on eBay. She was immediately hooked when she saw a chubby girl of papier-mâché made by Voit in the 1850s. After finding doll books at a local auction Alicia dove into doll research and joined several UFDC clubs in her area. Since then she has been attending every UFDC convention volunteering as a judge, giving Highlight tours, and this past summer, setting up a special exhibit. She has written articles for Antique Doll Collector as well as presented programs for local clubs and special doll events.  Her current focus is teaching doll collectors to spot fakes on the market. 

Her first love is early dolls especially those of china and papier-mâché. She also has a small collection of early 20th century characters and German children.  Alicia and her husband Charlie are now full-time dealers, and you can find them at national shows or managing their online Ruby Lane store, Signature Dolls.  They currently reside in Longwood, Florida.

BARBARA CLOSE
Barbara is a member of the Central Florida Doll Club and the Belles and Beaux Doll and Toy Guild. She is also the president of the Central Florida Doll Club. Barbara has been a UFDC member since 1977. She says that her collection is eclectic but she especially loves the 1890 to 1920 period. German characters are her favorite. She also collects holiday and candy containers. Barbara says that she loves doing displays with her collection.

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she graduated from Florida State University and currently lives in Winter Park, Florida, with her husband and two dogs. Her daughter lives in Colorado and her son, in Orlando. She is a retired math teacher but she continues to tutor students.

 

Steiner’s Japanese-type Babies

by Dominique Pennegues

Dominique’s background his been as an international journalist. While in Paris, she started a doll collection in 1976, after meeting doll expert and fellow French man François Theimer who was living near her in Montmartre.

Even though her interest as a doll collector had been for 19th French bisque dolls and English wax dolls, she soon discovered that French celluloid dolls had been neglected in France. Dominique began a long study on the subject which was published in Doll Reader in 1991-92, after having met Carolyn Cook, Doll Reader Editor, at her office near Washington, D.C.

Later on, she found that the topic of French cloth dolls was a much forgotten subject too, and she started a study that is still going on today. Her interest goes from the 18th century to WW II.

She is managing an Internet site “French Cloth Dolls Encyclopedia” and has been writing articles for DOLL NEWS and Antique Doll Magazine since 2003.

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