Saturday, March 29, 2008

Convention Registration Form Updated

I've updated the registration form to the right and Jenny Taliadoros updated Bruce Patrick Jones's logo with the right name at the base of the Statue of Liberty. If you have a web site, and would like to include the link to the form, let me know.

Next week we'll go live with the Piscataway Embassy Suites online hotel reservation link. If you reserved a room in Parsippany, your reservation will be transferred at that time.

Please note: the number to reserve at the Embassy Suites-Piscataway is 732-980-0500. (The Fax line is 732-980-9473).

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Yes, the change we've all been waiting for! We outgrew our original venue, thanks to your enthusiasm and interest.

Here's what you need to know:

The convention will now be held in the Embassy Suites in Piscataway, NJ, not Parsippany.

Embassy Suites Hotel Piscataway
121 Centennial Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854
1-732-980-0500 or 1-800-EMBASSY

The location is in Somerset County, NJ.

What airport do I fly into now?
You'll still fly in to Newark-Liberty Airport. I'll be working with the hotel on obtaining a low-cost shuttle service from the airport to the hotel.

What if I already registered at Parsippany?
If you registered in Parsippany, not to worry. All rooms will be transferred to the Piscataway location. I will be able to access the hotel's guest room management program online, to make sure that no one falls through the cracks. In doubt? Contact me at linda(at)geb (dot)net. Piscataway will also be providing us with an online link.

How do the room rates compare?
The room rate is $110 for a single or a double room (as opposed to $104/single and $114/double in Parsippany). The triple and quad rate is $120 (as opposed to $124 and $144 in Parsippany)

Why did you have to change the hotel?
We already have 93 people registered for the convention, and we're on track to draw in many more. The biggest ballroom in Parsippany is 1,600 square feet -- that limited our ability to promote the convention the way we'd like to, and also put constraints on the salesroom. Piscataway's ballroom: 5,822 square feet.

Can people still sell out of their room prior to the official Sales Room on Saturday?
Absolutely--it will be totally up to the vendors. For those who would rather wait until Saturday, they'll share a huge ballroom with old friends and new, where buyers will be able to see contemporary, vintage and antique paper dolls all in one big space.

And yes, that is Fluffy Ruffles (1907), making her first appearance on the blog to break the good news to you.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Torchy Brown by Jackie Ormes

I've been fascinated with the life and work of Jackie Ormes ever since I came across her story in a Trina Robbins book about women cartoonists. And now, thanks to Nancy Goldstein, we have the story in full.

Nancy's book, "Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist," was just published by the University of Michigan Press. NPR interviewed Nancy a few days ago, and the book will be reviewed in the next issue of the New York Times Sunday Book Review (March 30). Way to go, Nancy!

Don't have time to listen to the NPR interview? Can't get the NYT Book Review? Not to worry--Nancy will be presenting at the convention, and she will have the book available for sale.

The Work of Cartoon Artist Jackie Ormes--with Nancy Goldstein. Limit: None. Free.

The Torchy shown here is from my collection, and ran in the March 3, 1951 edition of the Pittsburgh Courier.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Convention Spotlight: Mary Young

We're honored that Mary Young will be participating in the 2008 convention. She brings decades of experience and a depth of knowledge that are unique in the paper doll collecting world.

Her guide books are required reading for serious collectors. You can find her books, "20th Century Paper Dolls" and "Tomart's Price Guide to Saalfield and Merrill Paper Dolls" at "Magazine Paper Dolls" can be found occasionally through second-hand book dealers who list on eBay, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

For those of you who missed the earlier post, here are the workshops Mary Young will be giving. She'll be working in tandem with longtime collector Peggy Ell. If you have a mystery paper doll cut from a newspaper, odds are good that Peggy knows exactly what it is.

Paper Dolls in Unique and Unusual Form and Format. Limit: None. Free.

Identifying your 20th Century Mystery Paper Dolls. You must put your mystery paper doll in a clear protective sleeve with your name on it. Participants can bring no more than two mystery items. Limit: None. Free.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Happy Easter

Convention Spotlight: Arabella Grayson

One year ago I attended a reception honoring Arabella Grayson for her exhibit, "200 Years of Black Paper Dolls" at the Smithsonian Institution's Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, D.C. The event was sponsored by her alma mater, Mills College, and was held at the museum. On display was only a small portion of her larger collection, but it was sufficient for her narrative about racial stereotypes in children's playthings, and the slow progress toward more respectful images. Everything from Topsey (1863) to Diahann Carroll as "Julia" (1971) was on display, as well as the work of contemporary artists such as Donald Hendricks, Tom Tierney and Bruce Patrick Jones. It was an inspiring and thought-provoking exhibit.

I've written about Arabella's work for Paper Doll Review, and I'm pleased that she will be presenting a Powerpoint presentation at our convention that draws on her extensive collection and study of black paper dolls. (And she is currently writing a book on the topic, too.)

200 Years of Black Paper Dolls--with Arabella Grayson. Free. Limit: 25.

(By the way, the next issue of Deanna William's magazine, "Cornerstones," will focus on black paper dolls.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Yes, it's Scarlett O'Hara--a beloved figure in American literature and classic cinema--sporting the fabulously improvised frock that gave a whole new meaning to the word "drapery".

Just keep those hands hidden, dearie!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Convention Update: Still More Workshops!

I'm very excited that Carol Sullivan will be doing a workshop on Paper Doll and Toy Newspaper Supplements, an area that I've just begun to collect in.

Last year on the blog, I uploaded a Little Nemo paper doll from the New York Herald, "Puss and Her Family" from the Baltimore American and "Mrs. Maggie Jiggs" from the Detroit Sunday Times. Here are two others, both from the Sunday Boston Globe (I think; the Bunker Hill toy simply says "Forbes.") I look forward to Carol's workshop in August to learn much more about these items. If you missed that earlier post about Carol's workshop, it is free but limited to 25 people. Each person will receive a color copy of a paper doll supplement AND will be included in a drawing for an original.

And to continue with our workshop list, here are some of the "hands-on" workshops:

Creating Sunbonnet Sue Ornaments--with Margaret Brown. Ornaments based on the classic applique quilt pattern using color, designs and accessories to represent your favorite activities. Some materials will be provided, but bring small sharp scissors and a see-thru ruler (also patterned paper, if you like). Limit: 20. Fee: $3.

Miniature Original Paper Doll in a Presentation Box--with Sue Hoeltge.(So glad to see Sue back at the convention. I took a workshop with her a few years ago, and it was great fun.) Assemble a lidded 4" square box from card stock. Kit will include box, dressing screen, fashions and accessories. Exterior box will be decorated with original artwork. Choose among 5 different paper dolls. Extra kits will be available. Bring your scissors, the rest is furnished.
Limit: 20. Fee: $12.

Make a Ziegfield Girl Fan--with Brenda Sneathen Mattox. Bring Scissors or X-Acto knife, rubber cement or similar adhesive, ruler and a couple of sheets of pretty scrapbook paper. Fan base, dolls, clothes and handle will be provided. Want to embellish? Bring glitter, feathers, etc.
Limit: 12. Fee: $10.

More to come!

The Kewpie Lady

There's an excellent article in today's New York Times about Rose O'Neill, the woman who created the Kewpies:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Pat O'Rourke!

Happy Birthday to Pat O'Rourke. The glamour quotient at this year's convention is high, thanks to Pat's ideas and hard work!

Here's Colleen, from one of my all-time favorite sets: Dolls of Many Lands, 1932, Whitman.

Convention Update: More Workshops

To the left, a Fletcher Post Card from 1914. Below, more workshops:

Help for the Budding Artist-- with Marilyn Henry. Can't draw hands, feet or faces? Marilyn to the rescue! Bring a clipboard, pen, color pencils, art paper or other drawing material you wish to use. Limit: 20. Free.

Tuck Paper Dolls-- with Patti Fertel. Think you've seen them all? Think again! Limit: none. Free.

Modes O'Day and Paper Dolls -- with Judy Johnson. A PowerPoint presentation comparing fashions of the day and how they are reflected in paper dolls. This will cover about 100 years of fashion, accompanied by vintage fashion plates, magazines and catalog illustrations. Limit: none. Free.

Paper Doll Greeting Cards from the 1920's to the Present Day -- with Jayne Keller and Louise Leek. Limit: none. Free.

Managing Your Collections from Now Through Eternity--with Sheryl Jaeger. Cataloging and organizing collections using software as well as a discussion of ways to disperse collections--something we all need to know. Limit: 25. Fee: $8.

Remember: Even for free workshops with no limit on attendance, you will have to sign up. And sign up sheets are only available in the official registration packet, which will be mailed in April.

Keep watching for more workshops/learnshops.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Convention Update: Workshops

First, thank you all for your patience. As I said before, it's been a steep learning curve for first-time convention organizers. Bear with us as we make sure that all the t's are crossed and i's are dotted before we make any major announcements.

For those of you who have registered, thank you! For those of you who haven't, I'm hoping this sneak peek at convention workshops will entice you to sign on. The registration packets will be mailed out in April with all the sign up sheets for ALL workshops.

My thanks to Workshop Coordinator Louise Leek for pulling together a great program:

Paper Dolls in Unique and Unusual Form and Format -- with Peggy Ell and Mary Young. Free.

Ins and Outs, Dos and Don'ts for New Collectors--with Louise Leek. Free.

Identifying Your 20th Century Mystery Paper Dolls--with Mary Young and Peggy Ell (Janna, I hope you're reading this and join us in August!)Free.

Paper Dolls from the Pantry--with Patti Fertel. A look at some favorite advertising paper dolls representing foods from flour to candy. You may bring advertising pieces to trade. Free.

Paper Doll and Toy Newspaper Supplements--with Carol Sullivan. Each person will receive a color copy of a PD supplement and be included in a drawing for an original. Limit: 25 people. Free.

Painting with Ralph Hodgdon--a chance to help Ralph finish several original paper dolls, pick up drawing and painting tips, and participate in a raffle for the original art. Limit: 25 people. Free.

But wait, there's more! We have 17 workshops and learnshops. I'll describe the others in the days to come, so keep checking in!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mystery paper dolls!

Just received this comment on an earlier blog posting, but want to make sure everyone sees it. Can anyone out there help Janna?
"Hi Linda,I'm sorry to randomly leave my comment and request on your blog. My name is Janna Lafferty, I'm not a paper doll expert, but I'm an assistant curator at a historical museum and we are considering taking in some paper dolls into our collection. We were given a bunch of paper dolls from a donor who played with them as a little girl. She says most of them are from the 1930s, and as we have been researching and identifying them, we've found that they range from the 1930's-1960s. There are some that we are having a very hard time identifying though, including this set of ethnically diverse children--some sort of "children of the world" paper doll set. I figured my next best bet would be to post the pictures so that expert collectors of paper dolls might be able to help me. I found your blog and was very impressed that people were able to help identify these paper dolls put up here. I hope you don't mind."

Not at all Janna! That's what we're here for. OK, collectors, what can we tell Janna about this mysterious set? And Janna will you be posting mysteries on your blog on a regular basis?

All of these images were taken from Janna's blog at:

UPDATE: From Cindy Wuthrich: "The dolls are from Whitman #3081 boxed set titled 10 Dolls from as Many Lands, 1934. It is pictured on page 131 of Tomart's Guide to Lowe & Whitman by Mary Young. Your 4 dolls are Dutch, Czechoslavakian, Spanish, & Chinese."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Your Official Source for Convention News

We just want to remind you to keep your eye on the blog, especially in the coming weeks. There'll be news and updates, and official announcements.

We're gratified by the enthusiasm and excitement for the 2008 convention. But unless you read it here first, there are no changes or updates to announce. So check in with us frequently! You'll be the first to know.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sweetheart Doll by Charles Ventura

Here's another Charles Ventura paper doll. This one appeared in the September/October 1988 issue of Doll Castle News.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Can you identify these dolls?

Just received this email from Barbara in Southern California:
"Attached are pictures of paper dolls that were my mother's. Any information you can give me about their origin, names, who made them, etc. would be greatly appreciated."

UPDATE: I've had two responses so far, one from Anonymous in the comments section below, plus this email from Jean Sullivan: "It appears to be Dennison's #34 set as shown in Mary's 20th C. Paper Doll reference book. The dolls are articulated so the limbs can be adjusted."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Peggy Jo Rosamond

Garth Lax informs me that artist Peggy Jo Rosamond has died. Our condolences to all of her friends and fans in the paper doll collecting world.

The two page color set is Peggy Jo's "The Lady of Sudan Goes to Paris," which was published in a doll magazine in 1988.

The black and white "Paper Doll Notes," was published by The Doll Works of Oklahoma City in 1978. Here are two samples from that 12 card set.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Brooks Glace Spool Cotton

You never know what you're going to find when you browse the internet. This paper doll was posted on a Web site with a remarkable story: a man found an interesting box in a Dumpster, took it home, but didn't open it for six months. When he finally got around to opening the box, he discovered a treasure trove of ephemera dating from the 1870s - 1890s belonging to one Charles Steele of Newton, NJ. Mr. Steele was an engineer, and his box contains ephemera pertaining to his work, as well as photographs of long ago theatre stars, playbills, baseball letters, advertising cards (including the one paper doll posted here) and more.

See and click on the link in the left column labeled "the box" for the full story. The man who found this treasure, Mark Forder, scanned in many images; there are a handful of bad links, which I think means he might have sold those items, but he also hasn't updated this site in many years. Luckily, the site and many good links still exist. He also did some excellent research on old time theatre stars.

Here are some other items here that I found fascinating:
Lulu Prior played Little Eva in a production of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

An excursion to Coney Island during its heyday.

A playbill from 1874.

Emily Rigl was a ballet dancer in the original production of The Black Crook, considered by historians the first Broadway musical.

Lotta Crabtree was an actress who also amassed a fortune of $4 million in her lifetime.

An ad for mechanical dolls.