Portrait doll

Object Number: 
2011.2
Date: 
1941
Medium: 
Composition, textile, hair, leather
Dimensions: 
Overall: 15 1/2 x 13 x 3 1/4 in. (39.4 x 33 x 8.3 cm)
Description: 
Composition portrait doll representing three-year-old Alessandra Lucci.
Gallery Label: 
This doll was made in December 1941 as a portrait of three-year-old Alessandra Lucci. It was a gift from Alessandra's grandmother, Phyllis Goodhue Konta (1890-1975), to her mother Anne Marie Cecil Lucci (1913-1973), who had a particular interest in dolls and puppets. The dollmaker, Dewees Cochran, was one of the most prolific American doll artists of the twentieth century. She began fashioning dolls to sell in New York City stores in 1933. Her first "Portrait Dolls" were hand-modeled, each a unique likeness of the subject. They sold for $85 and became trendy among wealthy New Yorkers. In 1939, Cochran streamlined her line of portrait dolls by designing four basic head molds to represent the four types of American children's faces. She trained assistants to select the head shape, paint the mouth, eyebrows, and coloring, and fit the proper wig. In 1939, Saks Fifth Avenue advertised the Dewees Cochran portrait dolls as "a perfect Easter gift." The artist typically executed the "portrait" after a photograph, for a cost of $25.
Credit Line: 
From the Puppet, Toy and Doll Collection of Anne Marie Cecil. Gift of daughters Alessandra Foster and Pamela Molyneux
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group