Curated by by Eva Melas, Portia Munson, and Carri Skoczek
A survey of artworks inspired by dolls, this exhibition includes dolls and doll imagery by contemporary artists in a variety of mediums including sculpture, painting, installation, film, and photography, alongside examples of historic dolls and dolls found in popular culture. The works included range from dolls presented as social commentary to whimsical, metaphorical, magical, beautiful, and even terrifying examples of dolls.
People have made dolls in their own image since ancient times. While children have been playing with dolls for centuries, they were also used as messengers to ancestors and the gods, as ritual tools in certain religions, as teaching tools, and for political satire. Some dolls are thought to be mystical and are used for protection.
We, the curators of this show, find dolls fascinating; we are drawn to both the creepy and the precious. Dolls such as Raggedy Ann, Chatty Cathy, Barbie, American Black folk-art dolls, Mexican paper mâché dolls, Haitian voodoo dolls, dolls representing different cultures in traditional costumes, and even grandmother’s porcelain dolls representing fairytale characters, all have cultural and personal resonance, depending on where and how they are used.
We are thrilled to include as diverse a group of artists and discover the ways that artists with all sorts of practices have included dolls in their bodies of work.
Participating artists include Vivian Baumann, Susan Carr, Ranu Carson, Ursula Clark, Ellen Driscoll, Kara Grail, Sandra Greuel, Marcia Hillis, Tine Kinderman, Sono Kuwayama, Maria Levitsky, Alexandra Limpert, JoAnne McFarland, Portia Munson, Sana Musasama, Lee Musselman, Helen Oji, Pat Oleszco, Karl Petion, Lourdes Sanchez, Geralyn Shukwit, Sasha Silverstein, Melissa Stern, Carri Skoczek, Greta Triplett, Regina Tuzzolino, Beck Underwood, Lia Zulalian (as of 1.31.24)