On public display for the first time, "Black Dolls" is a snapshot of African American life from an era past. The exhibition at the
"I think people will be really inspired by the resourcefulness of these doll makers," said Christine Knoke, the museum's chief curator.
Though the identities of the artists are unknown, the dolls, from collector Deborah Neff, are believed to have been made by African Americans for their own children and for the white children in their charge. The best part of the display, Knoke said, are the expressions painted on the dolls' faces.
"It's like they have a personality and have got something to say," she said, "Bewilderment, joy, surprise."