The March/April display gallery exhibit for 2017 has opened - Doll Collection by Suzanne Kelly. Ms. Kelly’s exhibit is on display until April 30. The display gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The display gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.
My love and appreciation of dolls started in the 1950s with my first doll, Cindy. She is a large, life-like baby doll dressed in her original clothes who used to cry, “Mama,” when gently laid down in her cradle. Then I remember other much loved dolls; a princess doll, a bride doll and Tiny Tears who cried real tears and wet when she drank from her bottle. My little Ginny doll included clothes and accessories for all occasions. She came from The Play Box, our local toy shop in the Tuxedo-Buckhead area. Thanks to my mother, Mary Beth Kelly, my dolls were saved in the attic during high school and college years.
The dolls were forgotten until I spent three summers in the 1970s in Chautauqua (upstate New York). There I collected, in earnest, many “Yankee” dolls at estate sales and auctions as they were very plentiful and reasonably priced.
Later in the mid-80s, I started and owned a toy shop in Woodstock, Georgia, called Cherecobb Toy Book and Hobby. I carried a line of expensive Lissi dolls from West Germany and a line of Italian newborn dolls that looked, felt and smelled like a real baby. Also during that time my parents retired to cruise and travel the world and the USA, always bringing me a doll from their trip. Thus, my doll collection really began to grow!
From the 1980s to the present, I have continued my doll collecting by finding unique dolls at estate sales, antique sales, antique stores and thrift shops. My friend and penpal from Finland, Leena, has also sent me several traditional Finnish dolls over the years. Also my sister-in-law, Cheryl, has lovingly given me several Madame Alexander dolls from her aunt and grandmother’s collection.
My doll collection is now outgrowing their cabinet so I am happy to share them with the Smyrna Library. Doll collecting is a fun and rewarding hobby that really tells my life’s story in miniature. I hope you will enjoy my collection.