The Dollhouse Project

You may have noticed that the home page for this site includes a new category – The Dollhouse Project.  (If you haven’t already seen it, please check it out.)

The Dollhouse Project was born during a brainstorming conversation over dinner with a group of wonderful artist friends.  I don’t exactly remember how the topic of dollhouses first entered the conversation, but suddenly there were a variety of stories being shared.  And I really wanted to hear more stories!  So I am inviting everyone I encounter to share a story about an experience with a dollhouse.  Here’s a sampling of what has been shared so far:

  • From a 96 year old who grew up in the Southern US during the depression:  She didn’t have a dollhouse and didn’t know anyone who did.  That kind of toy was too expensive for those times.  Her mother would make her paper dolls and paper doll outfits from Sears catalogs.  When asked about her play with the dolls, she described creating rooms for them from pieces of paper and boxes.  (And, yes, that does count as a dollhouse!)
  • A friend first said that she didn’t like dolls when she was a child, so didn’t play with her dollhouse.  A few minutes later she remembered something more:  she liked to play “office” and arranged her dollhouse on her desk to serve as a filing system.
  • A woman who grew up in Europe described looking longingly at her Grandmother’s very elaborate dollhouse – which she was not allowed to touch.
  • And one man who has shared recounted two memories:  having a gas station with people and cars as a child, and building a firehouse for his own sons which his wife finished with hand sewn bed linens.

I no longer have the dollhouse from my childhood, but I remember it vividly and have found a picture of it online.  It was a Keystone Large dollhouse.  I played with it for years – decorating, creating stories, and acting them out with a variety of dolls. I especially loved the two wings that opened out to reveal extra rooms and a second story patio. I thought it was the perfect house and planned to live in one just like it.

My goal is to collect as many anecdotes as possible, combine them with related photos and put them all together in a book.  I also hope to build some collaborative work into the project (a workshop on a dollhouse book perhaps?), but specifics have yet to be determined.

I hope you will decide to join me in this venture.  You will find a form on The Dollhouse Project page that you can use to submit your story.  Please use the comment section of this post if you have questions.

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