Thursday, November 15, 2007

Midwest Paper Dolls and Toys Quarterly

Janie Varsolona and Louise Kaufman published the Midwest Paper Dolls and Toys Quarterly from 1973 until? I have a binder of issues dating from 1978 (when they announce they have been publishing for five years) and ending somewhere around 1986.

It's a blast going through these old newsletters. So many familiar names, and pictures of items I've never seen before, lists of things like the Boston Sunday Globe paper toys. There was always a paper doll party going on--even a pajama party! and someone happy to write it up for others to enjoy. Midwest had an auction list, and ran photos of conventiongoers, too.

In the fall of 1982, Johana Gast Anderton wrote up the Lowe convention in Troy, Michigan. She mentions something that I think all of us can identify with: "Now, it's confession time. I was so enamored of the salesroom, I totally neglected to get in to look at the competition. ... What a loss! Because THERE is the place to learn. THERE is the place to see those goodies you will probably never own." I, too, have neglected the competition in the past. Big mistake! For all the reasons Johana cites, 25 years ago. (Johana, by the way, has a wonderfully instructive article on drawing in black and white in the current Erte issue of Paper Doll Studio.)

Midwest Paper Dolls paid tribute to Joan Carol Kaltschmidt, editor of Paper Playthings, in the Fall 1986 issue. Joan Carol had finally succumbed that year to cancer, after a three-year battle. According to Midwest: "She was the originator of Paper Doll Parties that eventually became what we call Conventions today. Small gathering of collectors would meet, trade, share, and have fun. Today those small gatherings have over 100 attend." So here's to Joan Carol, and the wonderful tradition she started.


Galen said...

Do you have any newsletters with Pat Stall PDs in them? I read in several old articles that Pat Stall would publish her PDs in different newsletters and this is one of them. I'm a huge fan of Pat Stall and I'm trying to collect her PDs art work.

Galen said...


Have you found any pat stall pds in the midwest paper dolls & toy quarterly and paper playthings yet?

Linda said...


From what I can see, there are no complete Pat Stall paper dolls in my newsletters -- they might have been removed, if they were there at all. Stall did contribute outfits to round robins that were reproduced in the newsletter.

In today's blogpost, I've added pictures from my personal collection. Enjoy!