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GIFT BOOKS & POPULAR CULTURE

PUBLISHER
Radius Books/Mingei International Museum

BOOK FORMAT
Clth, 12 x 9.75 in. / 192 pgs / 80 color / 40 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of stock indefinitely

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2015 p. 66   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781934435892 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $60.00 GBP £40.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

TERRITORY
WORLD

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

San Diego, CA
Mingei International Museum, 02/15

THE SPRING 2024 ARTBOOK | D.A.P. CATALOG

Artbook | D.A.P. Catalog Cover Link
Preview our Spring 2024 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.
  

RADIUS BOOKS/MINGEI INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM

Black Dolls

Unique African American Dolls, 1850–1930 From the Collection of Deborah Neff

Edited by Frank Maresca. Text by Margo Jefferson, Faith Ringgold, Lyle Rexer.

Black DollsThis book presents over 100 unique handmade African American dolls made between 1850 and 1930 from the collection of Deborah Neff, a Connecticut-based collector and champion of vernacular art. It is believed that African Americans created these dolls for the children in their lives, including members of their own families and respective communities as well as white children in their charge. Acquired over the last 25 years, this renowned collection is considered to be one of the finest of its kind ever to be assembled. The dolls portray faithful yet stylized representations of young and old African Americans—playful boys and girls, well-dressed gentlemen, elegant young ladies, and distinguished older men and women. Made with scraps of cloth, ribbon and lace, or old socks, and stuffed with wool or cotton, these unusual dolls are charming and full of emotional spirit. Their faces are embroidered, stitched and painted to express a variety of emotions, each representing a fascinating story of culture and identity in American history. The book also features an assortment of rare vintage photographs from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, showing both black and white children holding, posing or playing with their dolls. After five years of combing the archives of museums, historical societies and private collections, the research done for this volume uncovered fascinating vernacular photographs of African American children holding white dolls and Caucasian children holding black dolls—but there was not a single image of an African American person holding a black doll. This complex combination of text and imagery has helped transform this book into a commentary about social mobility and racial identity conveyed through the untold story of these dolls. In an essay, renowned artist Faith Ringgold addresses the inherent prejudices of this work as well as her personal connection with the medium. Also included are essays by Pulitzer Prize–winning critic Margo Jefferson and writer Lyle Rexer.

"Woman with Pink Apron," by an unknown artist in the first third of the twentieth century, is reproduced from Black Dolls.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

NPR

The Staff

At The William Grant Still Arts Center in the West Adams neighborhood in Los Angeles, jazz superstars and comic book superheroes are gathered together — in miniature, as part of the Black Doll Show.

For the past 34 years, the center has held a doll show to showcase diverse dolls for children. The exhibit features dolls submitted by artists and collectors from around the country. This year's theme is A League Supreme: Jazz Superheroes.

Vogue

Lynn Yaeger

We will never know who made these wonderful dolls; we can only imagine under what circumstances their creators sewed. But we know that they were treasured, passed down from hand to hand, and that over the course of a century, no one could bear to throw them away. Mute witnesses to our American story, in all its glory and its wretchedness, they are small but mighty testaments to our shared history, our survival, and our triumphs.

Vogue

Lynn Yaeger

We will never know who made these wonderful dolls; we can only imagine under what circumstances their creators sewed. But we know that they were treasured, passed down from hand to hand, and that over the course of a century, no one could bear to throw them away. Mute witnesses to our American story, in all its glory and its wretchedness, they are small but mighty testaments to our shared history, our survival, and our triumphs.

Black Dolls

STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/26/2018

Black History as told through 'Black Dolls'

Black History as told through 'Black Dolls'

"Woman with Pink Pocket," by an unknown artist circa 1870-90, is reproduced from Radius Books' outstanding and beautifully produced Black Dolls: Unique African American Dolls, 1850–1930. Pulitzer Prize-winning essayist Margo Jefferson writes, "They induce a rapture in this viewer. They say: I am black and comely in all conceivable ways. I am varying shades of black, brown and beige. I am decorous, impish, fearsome and wise. They say: I have my vanity. (Gaze on my dark, lustrous eyelashes and smartly-coiffed hair.) They say: I have my griefs. (Count the tears on my cheeks.)" continue to blog


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