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               Lecture & Exhibit Series 


   HISTORY THROUGH DOLLS OF COLOR Lecture Series presented by April S. Marius , an accomplished designer and artist  from  Freeport, NY. takes  you on  a journey  through  time with  a  rare  historical  collection  of  antique  African American dolls from the early 19th century through the late 20th century. Most are one of a kind and are not the type of dolls that were sold in stores. They  tell  stories of  African  Americans in different eras, centuries and standards of living. Some are shrouded in mystery that challenged April to research  them even  further to discover their history through  their structure  and  composition. As  her  fascination  grew  the  collection expanded as well as her knowlege. This is a very unique area of doll collecting due to the scarce amount of African American dolls from this era in history that survived. April  is  now  unpacking  her  steamtrunk and deepest shelves to  share her  ever growing collection with the public. “ I remember when collected my first doll of mystery I wanted to know where she came from, who owned her and why she had  the  scars  she  had.  I  saw  some  of  these  dolls  as historical puzzles. Somehow as my collection grew I found myself  swaying  towards dolls of a very unique nature. When I discover a dolls truth they take on a breath that was not there  when  I  first opened their arrival box. This became my passion to experience  these incredible dolls with my eyes wide  open. Once  I  started  sharing  the  collection  and having open discussions I heard something that prodded me more  to  find  out  what  dolls  did  we  have and  why. More and more women of color shared that they never had a doll that  looked  like  them. There were generations that all had only  played  with  Caucasion dolls.  Thus  began my  quest  to understand history through dolls of color.  My  collection  has  developed  into  a  myriad of historical images through different  European and  American  artists'  rendititions  of  African Americans. The  collection  has  become  a comprehensive teaching tool of museum quality.

         There  are  three events  being  offered  to  institutions of learning and social groups. 





       This event can be a mother daughter event or a childrens event. The purpose of this setting is so that girls can meet and share their dolls and history in an intimate setting. A child/adult is asked in advance to bring an old doll with them to the tea, We will have a tea party and  a  doll discussion while learning the history of dolls on display but much more informal. This  is  an unique  way  to  introduce children to  doll collecting and exposure to antique history in a fun way.

     “I invite you to talk to the elders in your family or neighborhood & find out what dolls they had or have in a box somewhere.”


      This event was inspired by a recent collaboration with the Long Island Children's Museum on a custom designed program for children 4 - 12 and a class on doll making. I will design a program about dolls made throughout  19th & 20th century along with a display that is age appropriate.  After the talk an interactive class will make a select doll from the past. 



     Due to  the  fragile  nature  of  some  of  these  museum quality pieces I have put together a comprehensive Slideshow presentation  of  my  entire collection  that will last about 30 minutes.  Afterwards there will be time for questions and answers from the audience.

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