Tuesday, May 31, 2011

22nd International Black Doll Show Recap

Show vendor, Linda Hayes, shared a recap of  the 22nd International Black Doll Show and Sale, which took place this past Saturday at Temple University's Mitten Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The show was sponsored by the Philadelphia Doll Museum and Dark Images. 

According to Linda,
The attendance was good, but not like the last show.  I say that because although some of my customers from last year were there,  a lot of  Broad St. folks wandered in.  I found myself actually educating a group of white college girls and what I would call an African advocate.  I enjoyed it though.  They had a lot of questions.  It was fun.  No sales from them, I just passed on knowledge and I'd like to think interested new black-doll collectors!   I'm told that the museum did advertise heavily, attendance was just low.   I would like to add that the building [Mitten Hall] was beautiful!  High stained glass windows, polished dark hardwood floors, very clean.  Smaller than the space at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where the show has been held in past years, but it was filled up with sellers.

My sales were great in comparison to some,  but I made about half of that made last year.  Still good, but not great.  My booth was busy the whole time!  I remembered my business cards this time, and a lot of people took them and want me to email them about my Ruby Lane store.  Other sellers sent people to me to look for rare dolls or reasonably priced dolls, so I felt great about that!   And thank you, because some folks recognized my name from your blog.

I think I had the most fun just being able to fellowship with other doll lovers.  This is what is lacking when you only belong to an online doll club.  I love talking about dolls!  Even with all my ailments and conditions,  facts about Black dolls,  I can remember!  It's amazing what a passion can do for you. There was a lady there from Chicago, I think, asking if we were in a doll club.  I told her about [your group] WLBD and gave her one of your flyers and my business card. She said she wants to put together a directory of Black doll clubs across the country so we can interact and help each other.  She will probably get in touch with you.    

Angela by Cassandra Harrison of Atlanta, GA is one of two dolls Linda purchased at the show.

I think I'm getting into artist dolls.  They [the artists dolls*] were talking to me up a storm Saturday!   I bought two sista' dolls!  There I was trying not to spend any money...but couldn't resist this new artist from Atlanta, Cassandra Harrison. Beautiful work!   The doll I purchased from her is Angela (probably inspired by Angela Davis).  Angela is standing on a piece of a real tree branch attached to a very heavy wooden base.  She has a tag attached to her wrist that reads:  "2010-11, Disco Jeans & Large AFRO.  I AM...ANGELA.   POWER TO THE PEOPLE."

I noticed some of Harrison's other dolls are attached to the lid of sewing implement boxes, the old fashioned kind with the center cloth and stitched.  She said all her dolls are made of recyclable materials that she finds wherever.  Deep work!

Cloth doll by an unknown artist has articulated fingers and natural-textured hair.

I purchased another doll from an artist from Pocono, PA.  Unfortunately, I did not get her information and the doll is unmarked.  The dolls fingernails are painted and the fingers are articulated.  The Afro-textured hair feels and looks like human hair.  Very detailed!"
I'm glad Linda had a good show and appreciate the recap she shared.  Although she was there to sell and unable to resist bringing home two additional dolls, they are quite unique, handmade art dolls.  Angela is full of sass while the unknown doll exudes elegant class. 

*When dolls speak to Linda, she listens, too.


  1. Enjoyed the report on the "Sophisticated Dolls" show and I heartily approve of Linda Hayes' purchase from Cassandra Harrison. Impeccable taste! I did a post on Harrison after interviewing her at the Atlanta Doll Collectors' show on May 20th. (see http://limbedolls.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-first-doll-show-part-7.html)

    Powerful work!

  2. Thanks for sharing this follow-up report.


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