A Tribute to Mildred Seeleyon the 35th Anniversary of World Doll Day

“So, you have not heard of World Doll Day? This is not surprising as of an hour ago, I hadn’t conceived the idea.”

Thus, begins the letter Mildred Seeley wrote to announce her idea of starting this remarkable tradition of giving someone a doll annually on the second Saturday in June. The birthday of World Doll Day being June 14, 1986. Thirty-five years later, are you familiar with World Doll Day and Mildred Seeley? Take a closer look at your collection perhaps you own or are aware of a doll reference book written by her, or a porcelain doll created from a Seeley mold or a Mildred Seely doll plate?

Florence Theriault so eloquently wrote in the forward to Ms. Seeley’s 1994 autobiography For the Love of Dolls and Roses “Mildred Seeley occupies a unique position in the world of doll collecting. Her collection of antique dolls is one of the finest in the world. For like all great art collectors, she had learned to select, then to ‘deselect,’ to build, then to eliminate, then to choose again, always upgrading, always improving. A doll artist of consummate talent.

An innovative organizer, she founded the Doll Artisan Guild; an accomplished writer, she authored several very readable and purposeful books; an inveterate ‘sharer,’ she started many, many would-be collectors on the path of successful doll knowledge. It is not an exaggeration to say that Millie Seeley contributed in a dramatic way to the rebirth of the entire doll movement in the late 20th century.”

Luckily, many individuals and groups have been vigilant in celebrating World Doll Day. Some doll clubs have collectively purchased dolls to give to junior collector groups and some individuals have orchestrated toy drives to give to local charitable organizations. One of our Corporate Members, Ruby Lane, has consistently posted World Doll Day reminders with wonderful ideas on how to celebrate and share, many penned by our own Linda Edward. And thanks go to UFDC Member-At-Large, Karen Kosies, who has done a lot of work to keep World Doll Day in the public eye.

Regarding the logo, it was designed by
doll artist Boots Tyner based on a doll Ms. Tyner created in the likeness of five-year-old Millie. Ms. Seeley gave permission for the logo to be shared and used by anyone to promote the day.

Mildred loved dolls, she loved sharing her knowledge with others, and her definition of “happiness is the hobby of collecting and helping other doll collectors and makers. Happiness is World Doll Day.” Mildred established the day to mark a special day devoted to dolls with a mission to spread the love and happiness to others. In her letter she asks everyone to appoint themselves as a spokesperson to “tell five people, and each of them tell five people and so on.” After the trials and tribulations of this pandemic do you not agree that this year the world really needs a special dose of love and happiness? Please mark your calendars for June 12, 2021, go out as a World Doll Day Ambassador and continue this mission next year, and the year after, and so on. Have fun!

United Federation of Doll Clubs

The United Federation of Doll Clubs (UFDC) is a non-profit organization with the goal of being the foremost in research, education, conservation, collecting, and appreciation of dolls.

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