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A World of Dolls:
The Dabney Collection and Beyond

Exhibition Dates: January 17 - May 21, 1993

Edith Dabney's Doll Collection

Edith Dabney's Doll Collection. Edith Dabney, a former professor of speech and costume design at LSU, began collecting dolls quite unintentionally. Students in her first college class in costume design returned from the Thanksgiving holidays with twenty-five dolls to use as resources in their class. Thus, period dolls in period costumes became an important method of teaching used by Miss. Dabney in her costume classes. Many of the dolls in her collection, which came to number over three-hundred, were gifts from students, friends, or just persons looking for a good home for a treasured doll. According to Miss Dabney, "Not all the dolls are historically interesting but they are all colorful and intriguing."

Having received her Master's degree in fine and dramatic arts with emphasis on stage costuming and design from Columbia University, Miss. Dabney came to LSU to teach in 1941  from Kirksville State Teachers College in Missouri. She retired in 1956 after fifteen years of service in the Speech Department. In addition to teaching classes, she also worked as the costumer for LSU dramatic and operatic products. Edith Dabney coauthored with C. M. Wise, also of LSU’s Speech Department, two books on costuming, A book of Dramatic Costume in 1930 and Dramatic Costume for Children in 1949.

In 1969 Miss Dabney donated sixty-eigh dolls from her personal collection to the LSU Library. The dolls originated from all parts of the world and include antique European and American dolls as well as American folk-art and Indian dolls. The oldest doll in the collection dates to the 1700s.

Introduction | Edith Dabney's Doll Collection | Photo Album | Credits | Past Exhibitions

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LSU Textile & Costume Museum
140 Human Ecology Building
Department of Textiles, Apparel Design, and Merchandising
College of Agriculture
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Telephone: (225) 578-5992 and 578-2281
Fax (225) 578-2697
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