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April 12, 2013

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Ana

If this isn't one of the most unexpected and fascinating collections I've seen, I don't know what is!

Rachel

It really is a treasure! If you can't make it to the Maryhill, you might enjoy the book "Théâtre de la Mode, Fashion Dolls: The Survivial of Haute Couture." by Edmond Charles-Roux, et al. It's available online, or at the Maryhill Museum. It gives a more comprehensive history of the collection, and pictures all of the surviving dolls.

melina

I've had the pleasure of visiting the maryhill museum. It really is an unexpected gem in the middle of no where, right?!

Rachel

It really is! Definitely worth the trip if you're ever in this NW corner of the United States.

Rebecca

There is a sister collection to these fashion dolls at the Brooklyn Museum. They were part of the 'Merci Train' exhibits that toured the country after the war. Unfortunately, I don't think they have been displayed for some time and are sitting in storage waiting to be restored. It's so wonderful to see the ones displayed at Maryhill. I hope some day the 'Merci Train' dolls can be displayed again. Such a great part of history!

Rebecca

Oops, they may be at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I think they were transferred there more recently.

Rachel

Yes! The Merci Train or Gratitude Train dolls are currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Though they aren't on display, there are great photos online: http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/search-the-collections?ft=gratitude+train.

The Met catalog records also include a brief history of the dolls, and their connection to the Theatre de la Mode. The Merci Train dolls date from 1949, and are constructed like the Theatre dolls. Instead of portraying contemporary 1947 fashions, they describe the evolution of French fashion history. Fascinating!

Wouldn't it be great to see both collections on exhibit together?!?

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