Doll news Summer 2013 ~ Letters to the Editor

Send Denise a Letter to the Editor

I don't usually say much about anything, but something is really bugging me. I collect Ellowyne, Madame Alexander, Tonner Patsy, and a couple Kish here and there. I abhore antique dolls!!!!! I don't own an antique doll. They stink and they scare me! I have to pay money to receive the Doll News to belong to UFDC. All you ever put in that magazine is antique dolls! Once in a while you put in a pattern, but usually for an antique doll, once in a while you put in a paper doll, but usually for an antique doll. Why should I have to Pay for that magazine when you never pay any attention to me or my likes or any people who collect other dolls, and don't like antiques!!

It really would be nice to at least have one page of paper dolls or one page of patterns for an uptodate doll that many many of us collect. You have only paid 95% attention to antique dolls and could care less about the rest of us. Your book is beautiful--IF you like antiques. My book has gone in the trash about 5 minutes after I looked at it most of the time because there is NOTHING in it that interests me. I would think that in this day and age you would at least get out of your antique rut with all the old cronies with lots of money who just like antiques, and realize maybe more people would be interested if you were uptodate for the younger people who hate antique dolls!!!!!

Thanks for listening. I speak for many who are afraid to let you know. Its about time someone did something about this.

Anonymous letter


Thought you'd find these comments…interesting. ...we thought we should share [these comments] with you.

…I've heard from several that Doll News does not pay for articles, and therefore the quality of the articles has gone completely down. Michael Canades and David Robinson instituted that policy and with Denise Beuse a part of their club, everything they put in place has stayed in place under her editorship. You get what you pay for. I liked the article on Mary Lewis but the rest were ho-hum. From a personal stand point, I see so little in the magazine that I even want to read that it would be refreshing to have articles in there that I would want to cut out and keep as I used to do.

Anonymous letter

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Although we have stopped the practice of remuneration for articles, I think we have received many wonderful articles from authors new to us as well as those who have written before, which are informative, interesting, inspiring and professional. I'd like to think that those who write for Doll News do so out of a desire to share their knowledge for the edification of all doll collectors, and because it is an honor to be published in Doll News, which has become a world class doll magazine. We are all volunteers for an extraordinary organization, which can only be as outstanding as we are willing to make it.

I am…disappointed in the magazine each time I receive it to find that most of the articles involve antique dolls with a token article now and then about modern dolls. I am interested in neither antique dolls nor Barbie, and have to find information on such dolls as Effanbee, Mary Hoyer, Arranbee, etc. from other sources. I wish there was an option of not paying for Doll News through my doll club, as I feel it is a waste of money. We are losing a member of our doll club who does not wish to pay for the magazine.

I have been collecting dolls with great enjoyment for many years, but I, too, am considering dropping out of my doll club.

Sincerely, Mary Cates

Dear Mary, I'm sorry to hear that you are disappointed in Doll News and that you feel it is a waste of money because it doesn't include anything of interest to you. Most of us focus on a particular area of doll collecting for various reasons, but we also enjoy learning about other, related elements; it seems unfortunate that you don't feel the same way, and it is hard to understand that you've been collecting dolls with great enjoyment for many years. With over ten thousand members of UFDC to please, we really do try to bring a variety of articles to each issue and hope that we will hit on something for everyone at some point during the year. Unfortunately, the doll world recently lost Don Jensen, a valuable author who taught us much about American made composition dolls. If you would like to write an article about Effanbee, Mary Hoyer, or Arranbee since you have a particular interest in those areas, we would welcome a submission from you. As you know, UFDC is a volunteer organization, and we value those who volunteer their time and talents for the benefit of other collectors. Your mention of dropping out of your doll club (so as not to have to receive Doll News) has nothing to do with the quality of Doll News; that would be your decision to make. You may want to read the following letters for inspiration for a more fulfilling experience in the world of doll collecting.

Denise Buese

My Doll News arrived late in the mail yesterday and what a beauty it is; you all do fantastic work!

Kitty Tibbets, Dallas Doll Club

What a great issue - I always learn something new from the magazine. I knew nothing of the Twinky doll, the R. John Wright looks fab, and I want to find out more about Nada Christensen. Can't wait to sit down and read through thoroughly.

Ian Price

Dear Denise, I just received my Doll News, it is FABULOUS!!! Thank you for you most generous contribution of your time and talent to the doll loving world!

All the best, Nancy Kelley

Dear Denise, …I have seen the magazine make a concerted effort to feature both antique and modern dolls! I'm increasingly tired of hearing that antique dolls are "scary," too. Yes, some are unattractive by modern standards, but it is silly to cave in to the modern assessment of dolls as invented by the horror movie genre. Little girls of long ago cherished their dolls, and didn't consider them frightening at all; we need to see them with different eyes and appreciate that they are direct windows into the past.

At any rate, I'm interested in learning, and I love learning about all sorts of dolls. It's not likely I will buy the dolls I read about, but I enjoy articles written by people who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable, because they are sharing that joy with me. Learning about all kinds of dolls helps me really listen to new people I meet, and have a nice conversation with them. It makes bridges into friendships, I think, and for me that's a great deal of the fun.

I've had a chance to read more of the issue, and I can't get enough of the articles on R.John Wright, Nada's minis, and the nun doll article. Nicki Burley

Dear Denise,

Writers rarely receive feedback from people who've found their work in print, according to my long-time experience. Usually, by the time my work is published, I routinely file it and move on to other projects. But today I am writing to say how fulfilled I feel about the Bellingrath cluster and to thank you that Doll News made an expansionist idea possible.

Early on, when developing various parts of the Bellingrath piece, I worked hard at turning facts into something for collectors and the wider world. I finally decided to query Doll News, Alabama Living, and a few other sources. Then through networking, I heard about a new Gulf Coast tourism anthology and realized I could move paragraphs from my Coca-Cola research into a new writing contest submission. I had only published with Doll News once before; all the other opportunities were cold calls.

Well, you graciously accepted my query. So did Alabama Living, a magazine for customers of a rural electric cooperative in the Deep South. Response from the editor at the anthology was immediate. And I won first prize in the prose contest at Pensters last May. And then yesterday, at the Fort Wayne Doll Club, I overheard friends commenting on the article. Kay said she was drawn to the Bellingrath heads first in the magazine, found the Hertwig series entirely new research, and then read the entire article thoroughly for its fascinating history. (Mary Krombholz also told me how gratified she was to see images of the Hertwig series.) Kathleen said she read the article aloud to her history-loving husband in the post-op recovery room of the hospital! Others commented about the Coca-Cola beginnings.

Then when I returned home last night, I had great email messages from my Southern friends at the Eastern Shore Doll Study Club of Alabama. Florence, Frances, and Elizabeth said they learned new things about the estate that is virtually in their back yard. As collectors, they are proud to tell others that china heads can also be found there. So thank you again for the joy this cluster has brought me. More importantly, I have found a new resolve to continue to share doll stories with collectors and the wider world. Several children's book manuscripts are works-in-progress.

I am also working on an assignment for Civil War Times, part of the Weider History Group. (Weider is the world's largest publisher of history magazines.) In addition to writing a brief article with captions, I am coordinating a photo shoot in Virginia with museum experts. Editorially, we all decided that six Civil War dolls need new photography. They have been sequestered in dark storage vaults for nearly 150 years. It will be the first time their true stories will be preserved in print. Truly, when one becomes intimate with dollology, one might go anywhere!

Best, Karen B. Kurtz Doll Historian

Just got my magazine....FABULOUS! Have quickly paged through it and will pour over it tonight after dinner. Linda White

Letters to Michael Canadas and David Robinson: Fabulous article in Doll News! Love it when I get eye candy and intellectual content at the same time. Deb

Hi Michael & David, WOW!!! What a GREAT article you wrote!!! All the photos were so helpful in "seeing" the different faces and bodies. I learned so much from your article and I so appreciate your taking time to share your wonderful hoard of Rohmer knowledge with all of us. I did not know that Rohmer kept making the zinc bodies after she lost the court case---I thought the court sent officials to her factory/store to destroy all the zinc bodies that were there, and that ended the zinc body production. Where did find out that she kept on making the zinc ones? I'd love to read that source and learn more!

Please keep writing these marvelous articles!

To Michael and David I want to thank you for the beautiful article in this month's Doll News, "The Extraordinary House of Rohmer." You both add class, style and taste to the doll world and I thank you for that. Kind regards, Annette Drolet

Your article in the last Doll News….Fantastic, just the type of article I love to read and read and read! Patricia Gosh

Wonderful article in the most recent Doll News. If I ever buy one, I will now know what to buy!!! Hugs, Maureen Herrod

Hello Denise.   The reason I joined UFDC was BECAUSE of the UFDC Doll News.   I very much look forward to receiving every edition.   The articles are well researched and written, and the accompanying photographs are wonderful.   It is a professional publication, through and through. Although I am primarily interested in antique dolls and greatly appreciate the articles written about them,  I enjoy learning about dolls, period.

Denise, I know that you and the UFDC Doll News staff work very hard behind the scenes in voluntary positions.   I would like to thank you and your team for the many hours you spend to produce each edition.   I would also like to add my sincere appreciation to those who support UFDC Doll News financially through advertisements as well as the knowledgeable doll collectors who submit such interesting articles for the publication.   They, too, do not receive remuneration for their work, but willingly write articles in the spirit of sharing their information and passion about dolls.   What an honour it would be to be published in your magazine!

Senta Ross

Dear Denise,

As a subscriber to the magazine whose sole interest is ANTIQUE dolls I just wanted to counter a little  bit the recent  letters you seem to be having asking for more on  modern dolls!!

I must admit that Barbies and their ilk leave me completely cold and so  I send a plea that you keep up the excellent coverage of genuinely antique dolls for those of us who appreciate their history and beauty and have no interest in dolls of  plastic, vinyl  and such like!

The lovely photographs of older and  antique  items and the in depth articles on this aspect of our hobby  are testament to the quality of your contributors in this field not to mention the high standard of presentation and layouts etc achieved by yourself and your staff in production of the magazine.

I just wanted to say a big thank you therefore to you  and all  your staff and contributors  for the hard work you put into producing such an excellent publication. It is much appreciated, but please keep a big emphasis on antique dolls and their history for the many collectors in this field who are not interested at all in more modern dolls.

All best wishes, Dee Urquhart-Ross

Hi Denise and all Doll News Staff.

I loved the Summer 2013 issue. There was something for everyone! Another fabulous one! The Rohmer article was beautiful and I really enjoyd the "Twinky" article. John Wright dolls are always a pleasure to read about. Catherine's story was facinating and wonderful research. Bradley's article on Barbie is just a superb example of doll research and kept me turning the pages. The Blue Moon story was charming and the Schmitt article very informative.

Thank you for publishing the letter to Ada from Annie Laura complimenting Doll News.

I like the new focus on the doll-related talents of junior collectors and the Dollars and Sense inforamtion and visual graph from Sheryl and Loretta was really well presented.

Betty Nett
Doll Study Club of Boston
Curator of Dolls and Toys, Wenham Museum

Dear Doll News Readers,

Reading the past month's Letters to the Editor has left me both sad and angry. When did UFDC become a playground where we throw sand in each other's eyes instead of discussing our differences like adults? We cannot, and will not survive as an organization if we continue to treat each other with a lack of basic manners and respect.

The Doll News magazine is a completely voluntary effort. It requires hundreds of hours a month to create, and whether you love or hate the content of any given issue, you should respect the dedication and passionate efforts of those who contributed to it. Those of us who have written articles, drafted patterns, or created paper dolls, have done so for you. We've made countless phone calls to collaborate, secure publication permissions, and round up photos to illustrate our articles. We've logged many hours behind cameras, and days and weeks in front of drafting boards, paint easels and sewing machines. We've gone blurry eyed in front of computer screens as we research and double check our facts, edit pictures, and write captions and instructions. All of us have gone without sleep to meet deadlines. We do it because we enjoy sharing the things which interest us.

We would also enjoy reading and learning about the dolls, collections and artists which interest others. However, we can only do this if those people are willing to contribute their specialized knowledge and experiences. UFDC is a club. This means everything we do is a "team sport". Joining doesn't give you a right to expect a small group of unpaid volunteers to meet your every personal need. It means you've agreed to contribute to the good of the group. The check you write when you become a member helps to pay for the paper Doll News is printed on (in addition to many other valuable services). It doesn't pay for the content. So I ask you, what have you done for Doll News lately? What do you love about dolls, and what have you done to share this with the rest of us? Have you submitted an article about Helen Kish, Sasha Dolls, Tiny Betsy McCall, BJD's, or any of the things you'd rather be reading? Have you volunteered to help an expert or someone with a unique collection put together a story for the magazine? Those of you who are disappointed with our magazine are the very people we need to help improve it. Please consider pitching in!

Meanwhile, for those of you who like to draw lines down the middle of things and force others to choose sides, I'd like to suggest you check your facts before your next public tirade. Over the past seven issues of Doll News, the greatest number of pages have been dedicated to contemporary doll artists (Robert Tonner, Judith & Lucia Friedericy, and R. John Wright to name a few) and to dolls manufactured during the 20th century or later. There have been articles on Barbie, Door of Hope Dolls, The History of the Vogue Doll Company, Alta Moda 60's Italian Fashion Dolls, Woodettes, Hair Cair Dolls of the 50's, Persian Dolls, and cottage industry dolls such as Twinky. There has also been coverage of the annual convention, including winners in both the antique and modern doll categories. Special convention exhibits have been featured, as well as regional conferences and local club news. In fact, as I surveyed the past two years of Doll News I was struck by what a marvelous job our editor, Denise Buese, has done to balance the interests of our 10,000+ person membership. In the last four issues alone we've had cover stories on Modern Black Fashion Dolls, Japanese Friendship Dolls, The Fabric Dolls of Joyce Patterson, and The House of Rohmer. I can see no evidence to support any claim that the entire focus of the Doll News is on antique dolls.

Finally, although antique dolls may frighten some of you they're a valuable and irreplaceable part of our joint history. And the "old cronies" who collect them are a precious resource to the doll community. The research they've done and the fascinating things they know will die with them if they're not recorded. You don't have to read it, but they should write as much as they can before they're gone.

UFDC is an enormous organization, with diverse interests and expectations. But it's made up of individual people who must, going forward, do a better job of working together to meet the needs of the group. We're better than whining and pouting. We're better than anonymous letters and unkind words to the small handful of people who've agreed to serve our membership. We're better than all the whispers going on right now in the privacy of our own homes, about who should be doing what and who would do it better. And if we're not better than all of these things, we should be.

AnneLise Wilhelmsen


I am reading the letters to the Editor, as I was just getting ready to write to you. I was dismayed to read the letters of discontent from a few people who seem to feel that every issue should be devoted to new dolls. I was writing to to tell you how wonderful the last few issues have been.... full of fascinating facts, and photos, and imagination, of dolls.. .old and new. You have such talented people writing for us, and I always look forward to each issue.

I am not a collector of newer dolls, or even mid twentieth century dolls, but I do still like to read and learn about them, so that I can intelligently join a conversation, or know what I am looking at at a doll show. And, as I read about them, I do appreciate them more. They are part of doll collecting , as are the antiques. We are all part of the DOLL WORLD- that includes dolls through the ages. I also have friends who didn't like antiques but gradually came to love them.... that wouldn't have happened if they were never exposed to them.

The people that are complaining seem to only collect the newer vinyls, resins,and BJDs. I think they must be putting all other dolls into the antique category. Maybe we do need to devote more space to those type of dolls, as that is what the younger collectors are interested in.... and if we don't draw them in, the world of dolls , as we know it, will collapse as the antique collectors fade out. I had a speaker come in to our doll club just to talk about BJD dolls, as most of us in the older category don't know anything about them... and we should be willing to learn. They may not be to our taste, but they are dolls.... many of us didn't like Barbie when she came out, but she certainly made a name for herself.

I feel if one wants to complain about an issue, one should be willing to do something to improve it... they should be offering to do research, write articles, and submit photos. And act like adults and speak their mind under their identity .... not "anonymous".

This magazine has become a world class magazine over the last several years.... Michael and David did a fantastic job of turning it around, and you, Denise, have kept it going. I truly appreciate it and look forward to each issue. I wish I had that talent of writing, but will just have to read other's work. I know several of those who submit articles and they are wonderful, knowledgeable people, who graciously offer their time and talents so the rest of us can have a quality magazine.

Donna Neale

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