In the middle of the 20th century, a number of women trained in studio arts and skilled in sewing directed their considerable talents to the making of finely crafted dolls. Collectively called American doll artists, these women sculpted their figures of wood, fabric, porcelain, composition, and other materials. In one way, these artists continued a long tradition of American homemade dolls, but unlike mothers who fabricated dolls for their children, these doll artists produced, not playthings but, one-of-a-kind works of art. Several doll artists of note produced dolls representing historical figures like Henry VIII and his many wives, George and Martha Washington, Jackie Kennedy, and Grace Kelly. Many other doll artists labored to present the history of clothing as depicted in paintings and portraits of royalty and wealthy individuals, for example, and in illustrations from trade catalogues, milliner's advertisements, and lady's magazines. For nearly 100 years, collectors have sought out these figures for their uniqueness and exquisite craftsmanship.

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  • Title: Doll:Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Date Created: 1950
  • Location: California
  • Subject Keywords: Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Type: Collector Dolls
  • Medium: cloth, composition, wax
  • Object ID: 79.9749
  • Artist: Lewis Sorensen