Weekend Workshops – Paper Dolls @ Wilton Historical Society

Paper dolls have been a common toy for centuries across the globe. Traditionally, in the United States and Europe, paper dolls have consisted of figures cut out of paper or thin card stock, with clothing fashioned out of paper held onto the dolls with paper folding tabs. Mass production of these dolls began in the early 1800s and continued into the 20th century.

On Saturday, September 10, from 11:00-12:00, the Wilton Historical Society will be offering a paper doll-making workshop for kids. The workshop will feature pre-cut paper figures which can be decorated with a variety of paper outfits, led by Museum Educator Catherine Lipper, who will also share her collection of three Madam Alexander dolls in pristine condition. The morning promises to be a great opportunity for creativity and fun!

According to the University of Chicago Library, early paper dolls created in Europe frequently depicted actors or actresses who were used similarly to puppet shows on toy stages. Dressmakers used articulated dolls for a more practical purpose – as miniature models for clothing designs. Wilton Historical holds several paper dolls in its collection including one from 1890.

This program is suggested for ages 6 – 10. Members are $10 per child, and Non-members are $15 per child. The Wilton Historical Society is located on 224 Danbury Road and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s a Small, Small World: Dollhouses and Miniatures Gunn Memorial Museum

The Gunn Museum’s holiday exhibition, It’s a Small, Small World: Dollhouses and Miniatures, is on display through January 20. This holiday season, visitors will enter a fantasy world of miniature houses, furnishings, toys, and dolls, loved and played with by generations of children.


Under the guidance of artistic director Chris Zaima, designer Sandy Booth and John Pitts, the former scenic artist at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, this whimsical exhibit captures the holiday spirit for children of all ages. The enchanting display features over fifty unique handcrafted dollhouses and roomboxes, spanning three centuries, from the Gunn Museum, Washington residents and private collectors across the Northeast.

A number of dollhouse treasures, discovered in local attics, basements and barns, are now seeing the light of day for the first time in decades in this exhibit. The oldest item on display is a very rare George II English Baby House built in 1747. Some other notable artifacts in the exhibit are 1890s Moritz Gottschalk dollhouses, elaborate 19th century German “room boxes”, a 1920s Tynietoy dollhouse with original Tynietoy furnishings, an early 20th century British Tri-ang dollhouse, a Mt. Vernon dollhouse built in 1932 for the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth, Louis Marx tin houses, among many others. Also included in this exhibit is the work of local dollhouse craftsmen and miniature artisans Rick Maccione of Dollhouse Mansions, Susan Anthony Klein, and Teresa Layman.

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Bring your holiday guests to this must-see exhibit. The Gunn Museum is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm. Admission to the museum is free, but donations are always appreciated. The Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road, the intersection of Rt. 47 and Wykeham Road, in Washington, CT. For more information call 860-868-7756 or view www.gunnlibrary.org

For area information visit www.litchfieldhills.com.