Rag Dolls

Moriarity and Adler

Doll Makers Unite!

A Scrapbook of Rag Dolls, from the Palmer Cox Brownie to Zippy the Pinhead

The dolls on these pages are gone. Scattered with the four winds, they may be found in countless locations upon the Earth; propped on shelves, within glassdoored cabinets, on dressers, in attic boxes containing other things no one knew what to do with, residing in doll houses, buried in back yards, at the bottom of toy boxes, or kept wrapped in tissue paper in very special places. Wherever they may be, we hope that they have made someone happy!

Here is what we said at the second annual Monteca, California quilt and cloth doll show in 1985:


Serious doll makers of the world unite! In an effort to gain recognition for the “rag” doll…a place with quilts and wearable art. we the serious doll makers put forward our banner.

“Rag”dolls have for generations served as instructors in human interaction; decorative objects, portraits, and good listeners. They now deserve a place along with the quilt and embellished clothing in quilt shows across the country.

We have defined a rag doll as one constructed largely of woven fabrics and in the human image. Porcelain dolls have occupied a place of their own and appear now to have maintained a largely re-creative position. But the “rag” doll has taken a more individualized and creative form and lacks a place among rigidly constructed dolls.

Quilters have demonstrated a dynamic and forward view of folk art by including in their ranks the embellished garment. We applaud! Now it is time to become visionary once again and see a place for the fabric image of the human condition and give their creators a place too.

Dollmakers at the second annual Monteca Quilt and Cloth Doll Show, March 2nd and 3rd, 1985.

Storybook Dolls from beloved classic literature

by Martha Heller

Dolls to be admired, displayed, cuddled, and, hopefully, to survive being sat upon.