Sunday, July 21, 2013
An online-only collectors magazine looks at paper dolls through the ages.
The above image is from Tracy's Toys, and it's used to illustrate an article in Collectors Weekly: "From Little Fanny to Fluffy Ruffles: The Scrappy History of Paper Dolls." As soon as I saw the image I remembered Tracy's great story of finding this box while antiquing, and so I went back to her 2011 blog post to enjoy the story all over again. Click the link above and you'll see what I mean (and then check out the rest of her terrific vintage toy finds).
The Collectors Weekly article quoted me at length, which is pretty embarrassing because in the world of paper doll collectors I'm still a newbie. So let me thank all the artists and collectors I've met since I attended my first convention 10 years ago in Cleveland, for sharing your knowledge and delight in collecting. I tried to convey all that I learned from you in that interview. And I look forward to next month's convention in L.A., where there will be more to see and learn -- and lots of fun to be had catching up and sharing our latest finds.
I am pleased that Jim Linderman of Dull Tool Dim Bulb posted the first comment on the Collectors Weekly story, with additional information about handmade paper dolls, and the article in the late and deeply lamented Folk Art magazine that profiled his extraordinary collection. The good news is that the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, which had a near-death experience two years ago, is in better shape and is planning to put the entire archives of the magazine online.
Better yet, order the issue for your own hard copy. Although the magazine stopped publishing in 2008, back issues are available. It's Folk Art 32, Number 2, Spring/Summer 2007. The article by Francine Kirsch is "Costumed by Hand: Yesteryear's Best Dressed Paper Dolls." Richly illustrated, worth the $10 plus shipping. Ordering information here.
I'd never heard of Collectors Weekly until the writer Hunter Oatman-Stanford contacted me. It is a fascinating site that examines the cultural context of collectibles. Check out the articles about postcards and the suffragist movement, lesbian blues singers, Popsicles and a documentary about stamp collecting, which sounds more interesting than you'd expect.