Over the past couple of weeks I have been revamping my friend Webby's Dive In cards. While researching about Variety Unit's Doll section, my eyes floated to this picture:
Paris and Montreuil-sous-Bois, France
Probably Bru Jne. & Cie
Chandler Collection, 1962-262.96
As I looked into the doll's wide, almost expectant eyes, I immediately started thinking about a specific instance with my doll when I was a little girl. Unlike Shelburne Museum founder, Electra Havemeyer Webb, who preferred to carefully pack away her dolls at age 10, my doll was under strict orders to never leave my side. After a year of being carted everywhere by a little girl, the doll's face was muddied, her arms and legs no longer fit in their sockets properly, the velcro of her dresses barely stayed together, and her hair was frizzed and falling out in clumps from constant, aggressive brushing. I reminsced about the day when I felt sad and guilty about the condition of my doll. In fact, I remember tearing up and whispering in the doll's ear as I hugged her close: "I'm sorry." Looking at the picture above (particularly at the featured doll's hair), I realized how much I loved my own: physically and emotionally.
As an museum educator, it's my goal to use Shelburne Museum's collection to inspire discussion amongst visitors. Since I started with my tale of guilt, it is now time for you to share your own toy story in the comments section of this post. Check back often and compare your story to what others have shared. Do their stories change the way you see doll above?
Click here to view Webby's fun-filled and family-geared blog!