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Mingei International Museum

'Black Dolls' at Mingei International Museum a window into the past

'Black Dolls' at Mingei International Museum a window into the past

On public display for the first time, "Black Dolls" is a snapshot of African American life from an era past. The exhibition at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego consists of 125 handmade dolls made between 1850 and 1940. The black experience has been embroidered with ingenuity into these mixed-media figurines — boys and girls, men and women of a certain age, all made of materials on hand: paper for clothing, teeth and eyes; small pieces of wood hidden under fabric forming noses; coconut shell, papier-mâché and leather heads; ribbed sock bodies. "I think people will be really inspired by the resourcefulness of these doll makers," said...

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