United Federation of Doll Clubs - their Summer 2017 magazine DOLL NEWS has my newest article "Elise - Over Time". Elise is the quiet one. Never as high profile fashion doll like her bigger sister Cissy or the legacy of Barbie, Elise did have quite a long doll career. From 1957 through her final bow in 1992, her design morphed several times and again as several different personalities. Some of her most interesting years were her bell-bottoms and mod fashion years of the mid sixties to early seventies when she was featured in the annual truck sets featured by FAO Schwarz.
DOLL NEWS Fall Issue for 2016 is just mailing out. I am privileged to have this issues cover and the lead article featuring Cissy. It's been a year long process to gather and photograph some of the dolls that are featured in this article: Cissy: Evolution of a Fashion Doll. Other dolls I already had or they came together for several presentations that I've been working on. The featured doll on the cover is one of my all time favorites. Having lived in her box since 1956, it's been an amazing experience viewing a doll virtually the same as it left the factory. She went with me to the 2016 Madame Alexander Doll Club Convention in Minneapolis, MN and won first place in her category. I drove from Virginia, so this years convention was quite the experience. Bringing dolls like this is nerve-wracking as it is... driving seems to ease the stress of wear and tear. Fast forward, and here she is, forever caught in the moment of the life of this American fashion doll.
Some of you have seen this before. It's been some time now, but I thought I'd rephotograph her. This is what I refer to as the "Mom Doll". My Sister and I just celebrated what would have been our Mother's birthday. I had started this project during her Alzheimers. Mom had become an escape artist in her later Alzheimers. Some who have taken on home care may recognize this phenomenon — perhaps having a mission in their memory that needs to be completed, patients may have a relentless desire to take off and complete whatever that might be encoded deep in their minds-eye.
Mom found an unlocked door one morning at dawn and perhaps became infatuated by the colors and shimmering swimming pool light... My Parents loved to go dancing when that was the thing to do. The Cavalier Hotel of Virginia Beach was a local treasure that featured a live orchestra for many years. "Mom" is dressed from an old photo taken at the hotel. Dad kept my "Mom Doll" with him during his hospice period — perhaps the beat of a Cha Cha was still playing in the background.