Purchase Story

Folk Art Dolls


Topsy-turvy doll, reversible black and white cloth figures, early 1900s.

American Primitive Gallery, in association with John Molloy Gallery, will present Lost Figures & Found Dolls from January 4 to February 3 in New York City. Longtime dealers and collectors Aarne Anton of American Primitive Gallery and John Molloy have assembled diverse groupings of figures and dolls, including early American and recently created examples.

“I became interested in dolls that only a child could love—that were not mass-produced. These were not store-bought and often were pieced together from remains of fabrics from clothes or carved of wood. These were not traditional and departed from how people were depicted, especially with race and heritage being reflected. Another type of figure shown will be articulated figures that move, dance, or were animated by the wind. The show will include a small group of life-size figures that had different stories of creation,” said Anton. “Among Native American tribes, there were dolls made for play, for teaching, and for selling to the white folks. Those figures and dolls varied greatly by tribe, region, and materials. The show will include a group of Eskimo dolls.” Some of the figures will also be included in Anton’s booth at the Outsider Art Fair.

The exhibition will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the John Molloy Gallery, 49 East 78th Street, Suite 2B, in New York City. For more information, contact John Molloy Gallery at (212) 249-3020 or see the website (www.johnmolloygallery.com), or American Primitive Gallery, (212) 628-1530, website (www.americanprimitive.com).


Originally published in the January 2018 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2017 Maine Antique Digest

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