In the mid-20th century, Dorothy Wendell Heizer (1881-1973) joined a movement in doll making that presented dolls as expressions of art rather than as simple playthings. For decades, collectors have admired Heizer's exquisitely made cloth dolls of historical figures dressed in faithfully replicated period clothing. Heizer attended the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts where she studied portrait painting, human anatomy, and sculpture. A talented seamstress as well as a schooled artist, she made her first dolls of cloth in the 1920s for a church bazaar. As she developed her skills and style, her dolls became more sophisticated, and she sold them to appreciative buyers through Hickson's store in New York City. She ended her association with Hickson's (the owner was accused of being an Italian spy in 1944) and began dealing with customers directly. Heizer continued to make dolls into the 1960s when poor eye sight ended her career.


  • Title: Doll:Marquis de Lafayette
  • Date Created: ca. 1950
  • Location: Chatham, NJ
  • Subject Keywords: American Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette
  • Type: Collector Dolls
  • Medium: copper, cotton, silk, leather
  • Object ID: 105.207
  • Credit Line: Gift of Marjorie Chambers in memory of Lorna Beers
  • Artist: Dorothy Heizer

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