File puptcrit/puptcrit.0803, message 136


To: mphorsely-AT-earthlink.net
Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2008 01:18:16 GMT
Cc: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] American Girl store in Los Angeles


Mary---Theoretically I can understand what you are saying about the American Girl historic detail in costumes & accessories and even the story books, but the commecialization was so intense, that I became sick to my stomach and depressed just for being in their space for too long for my taste.

I think there is another reason I did not enjoy the American Girl experience.

Some years ago (some many years ago) I did a puppet exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. While there I noticed how skimpy the museum's  exhibit was in their tiny alcove doll display and asked "how come?". 

"No-one on staff is interested in the doll collection so it gets ignored" was the explanation. OK sez I, how much money is available to fix it up? Being the end of the year, they had $500 maximum. OK, I will do it, sez I.

I rotated between 2 locations in Santa Barbara and my North Hollywood home for 5 or more weeks---one S.Barbara site being the home of the doll guild president, who also helped me install window glass on the open shelves and CLEAN the glass. I made a little picket fence on a bottom shelf, made interiors on other shelves with miniature wall paper panels, used existing props and bought a few extra ones like an old-style miniature wall phone which was a made-in-Japan pencil Sharpener, and dollhouse sized picture frames flled with antique trading card pictures.. Some back walls were painted in complimentary colors for the particular  objects placed there. It was an interestng project to take on. The Alice B Schott Doll Collection had quality items including some Java rod puppets, nice folk dolls from India, China & Japan, A great English wax doll, a fine wood Queen Anne doll or two, Schoenhut toy figures and lovely antique stuff from Germany & France. Most of it had ended up in the basement storage if it had been lent to other museums & exhibits, instead of being returned to the display shelves. That was why the shelves had gotten so empty over time.

I spent all the money available on the sliding glass windows, paint, mini-patterned wall paper, window locks, and such, so I could not make a dime off the project---there was no $$$ left over for me.
But gasoline and car travel was cheap in those days, unlike these G W Bush days.

The gallery had an official reopening ceremony and for awhile the public could again enjoy looking at some really great doll history.

It looked good for another year or two. The Colemans of doll collecting fame visited as did some other doll celeb folk.
Now THAT kind of thing I found really interesting and somewht related to puppetry

The American Girl stuff is boring by comparison.

ALAN COOK


-----Original Message-----
From: Mary Horsley
Sent: Thursday, March 6, 2008 4:50 PM
To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] American Girl store in Los Angeles

Smiling, I have been to all three, Alan. But I have a daughter who like me
loves dolls (and puppets, too......). Unfortunately, the original concept
has become way too commercialized. However, my daughter uses her energies to
create historical scenes down to the finest detail. I am always impressed by
her scenes and think she should do something sometime in scenic design.
Walking into her doll room, it is like going into a museum......so, it isn't
all bad. 

Mary H. 


On 3/6/08 7:20 PM, "Alan Cook" <alangregorycook-AT-msn.com> wrote:

> I just got around to visiting the  Los Angeles American Girl Store..lovely
> lighting, lots of space, escalators & elevator  between 2 floors, and inflated
> prices. There are just a few of these elite stores (thank heaven).
> 
> Wherever there are nouveau riche customers, there are vendors.
> 
> Frankly I would rather spend my money on puppets of consequence and
> artistic/historical value.
> 
> The American Girl offers a hair salon for dollies, matching wardrobes for Doll
> and Girl, and faces on dolls which look very similar except for skin tones.
> Well, the hair comes in dfferent colors and lengths. You get matching story
> books for specific dolls (terribly empowering if you buy the sales pitch) and
> there is a cafe and a show room/theatre.
> 
> You can buy doll beds (four poster with variations), other doll furniture,
> dolls for dolls, dogs & cats for dolls, party tables for doll teas  Some items
> are available for short times (impetus to buy now) and some dolls are
> available for just one year. It is a controlled market like collector plates.
> 
> Now that I've seen it, I can say I've seen it.( I got dragged there---so now
> its off the list.)
> 
> Frankly I get more from a museum visit.
> 
> ALAN COOK
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mary Horsley
> Sent: Thursday, March 6, 2008 3:55 PM
> To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
> Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Fwd: $3000 birthday party
> 
> To top that, my daughter just showed me an American Girl site that told
> about a $30,000 slumber party one could arrange in the penthouse of the
> Palace Hotel in NYC. And yes, no puppet show there either!
> 
> Now, that is ridiculous.......
> 
> Mary H. 
> 
> 
> On 3/6/08 9:02 AM, "Susan Wall Kronenberg" <susan-AT-carouselpuppets.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> 
>>> 
>>> From: Peter Kronenberg <pak-AT-carouselpuppets.com>
>>> Subject: $3000 birthday party
>>> 
>>> http://www.sptimes.com/2008/02/24/Hillsborough/One_year_old__one_lav.shtml
>>> 
>>> What!  No puppet show?
>>> 
>> 
>> 
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