The Duncan Banner

Lifestyles

February 19, 2012

Hand-sewn dolls have ethnic appeal

DUNCAN — Like people, dolls come in all shapes and sizes, which is exactly what the display in the Stephens County Museum and Historical Society for the month of February demonstrates.

Keeping with the spirit of celebration for Black History Month, now on display in the Hall of Fame room is the late Bonnie Daughtry’s collection of black dolls.

Daughtry willed the collection of more than 500 dolls to the museum, and several parts of the collection have been on display since October 2011.

When Vicki Zimmerman, Stephens County Museum board president, and others went through the collection to sort and organize the dolls, they noticed Daughtry had a nice selection of black dolls. It was later determined she had a fascination for them.

“We decided when going through them that these would have to be on display during February for Black History Month,” said Zimmerman.

There are many different types of dolls, even within the black doll collection. While some are more modern such as a couple of Barbies, others are more vintage, such as the Kewpie and Effanbee dolls. There is even a Michael Jackson replica doll still in its original packaging.

While Daughtry received many of the dolls as gifts, she also acquired several on many journies around the world. One such doll in the black doll collection is one she bought in Pennsylvania in 1982 that is made of apples.

An interesting pair of black dolls are those Daughtry sewed by hand for her two sons, Max and Tom, when they were young boys. Although a number of her dolls are quite old, they are all in mint condition due to her care.

“They really are just in remarkable condition,” said Zimmerman. “She was happy with any doll she got.”

Zimmerman said anyone who has an interest in dolls or who is just curious to see the collections, come in before the month is over. Daughtry’s massive collection of dolls allows for the museum to switch them out over the months.

So when February ends, the collections currently on display may not be up in March.

“We want people to know about them,” Zimmerman said.

“Don’t come just once a year,  because we can change out collections, so come see them now.”

The next part of the collection the board plans to showcase in the Hall of Fame room is Daughtry’s Madam Alexander dolls and Ashton Drake dolls.

Operating hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and admission is free to the museum.

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