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Statement from the artist:
Penny Dolls were common from the late 1800s through the 1930s. Produced in Japan, they were a less expensive version of German bisque varieties. Not to be confused with frozen Charlottes and bath babies (that is another story for another time), these little figures were modestly priced at a penny and sold alongside candy to appeal to young buyers. They came in varying sizes and modes of dress. Some came fully painted, but others came naked and painted only with shoes so that young dressmakers could design at will. I find many of them incredibly delightful: some are fussy, some are demure, and others are playful, jubilant, feisty, or serious.
The idea of lodging these little babies in books came to me as a way to magnify their personalities. The Romanesque style niche gave them an almost holy feel, like little saints who might understand how your day was going, and not judge.
Now that I see them all together, they have the feel of the cliffside monastery dwellers of Vardzia, or perhaps Mesa Verde, but most of all, they feel like a self portrait.
“With one eye you are looking at the outside world, while with the other you are looking within yourself.” – Amedeo Modigliani
1. Good Queen Bees
3. Goldenrod Farm
7. Hard Hearts Are For Cabbages
13. The Lone Star Ranger
19. Slow & Sure -blue
22. Joyce of the Secret Squadron
25. Sam Jones
41. The Forbidden Trail
45. Maidas Little Shop
48. Out For Business