Doll | doll set:Terri Lee Princess Ballerina

Terri Lee Associates2000-2010

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play
Rochester , United States

The Terri Lee doll first appeared in 1946, the creation of Violet Lee Gradwohl of Lincoln, Nebraska. Gradwohl's cousin perfected the design of doll's composition toddler body and distinctive face of large, widely spaced eyes, snub nose, and bright red, pouty lips. Named for Gradwohl's daughter, the Terri Lee doll had scores of outfits that could be purchased, and Gradwohl's company issued clothing patterns to encourage girls and their mothers to make more clothes for the doll. Terri Lee's creator insisted on fine designs, fabrics, and workmanship for her fashion doll's clothing. The wardrobe for the doll included complete bathing outfits to formal gowns, and even a mink coat. Gradwohl added family and friends to the Terri Lee line including Jerri Lee, an adopted brother; Connie Lynn and Linda Baby; ten-inch tall Tiny Terri and Tiny Jerri walker dolls; Patty-Jo, Bonnie Lou, and Benjie, African American dolls; Guadalupe, a Hispanic doll, and Nanook, an Eskimo doll. A Gene Autry doll, also made from the Terri Lee mold but dressed as the Singing Cowboy, was not very successful with little girls in the 1950s. Terri Lee remained in production until 1962, but by the 1950s, the doll was made in plastic and vinyl. Descendants of Gradwohl formed Terri Lee Associates in 1997 and revived the Terri Lee doll for mass production. In addition to the Princess Ballerina, the company offers Terri Lee Pajama Party, School Days, and Birthday Party Fun--each of course with a distinctive and suitable outfit.


  • Title: Doll | doll set:Terri Lee Princess Ballerina
  • Creator: Terri Lee Associates
  • Date Created: 2000-2010
  • Location: China
  • Subject Keywords: ballerina, doll
  • Type: Dolls from the Nineties to Now
  • Medium: vinyl, printed paper, plastic, acetate
  • Object ID: 110.525.12
  • Credit Line: Courtesy of the Marianne Szymanski Toy Tips Institute

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