Doll artist Martha Thompson worked in the 1930s through the middle of the 1960s at her art. She carved her first dolls from Ivory soap for her sister's kindergarten students. She tried pottery clay for her doll heads but became disappointed when the clay crumbled before she could finish sculpting heads. She eventually learned to work with porcelain, and she perfected its use in creating faithful likenesses of historical figures such as Henry VIII of England and his six wives-Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Kathryn Howard, and Katherine Parr. Thompson also created a series of doll groups in which she presented 19th-century fashions based on hand-tinted steel engravings. Her completed dolls so faithfully recalled the engravings that some of her admirers observed, "These dolls seem to be the very models from which the engravings were made rather than copies of the engravings."


  • Title: Doll:19th-Century Fashion
  • Date Created: 1954-1955
  • Location: Wellesley, MA
  • Type: Collector Dolls
  • Medium: bisque, paint
  • Object ID: 77.2696
  • Artist: Martha Thompson

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