Sully Historic Site Goes Crazy for Dolls

doll-showMuch like residents of Fairfax County, dolls come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and from every corner of the globe. Sully Historic Site is now displaying 80 dolls, some antique, all unique, in a new exhibit called Doll Crazy, which runs through January 25, 2013.

The dolls belong to local collectors Mary Ann Philipp, Shauna Shapiro, Dottie O’Rourke, and Marilyn Voigt, all of whom serve as volunteers at the historic site. Two of the dolls belong to the Fairfax County Park Authority’s historic collections department, including the oldest doll in the collection, a 15-inch tall, handmade “Mammy” doll with a red polka dotted dress and tan apron from 1860. The doll was a gift to the Park Authority.

Historic first 

This is the first time the dolls have ever been exhibited. They represent countries from around the world, including Guatemala, Greece, Germany, France, Chile, Argentina, United States, Puerto Rico, Cameroon and many more. Most are displayed in a special exhibit case, while the others may be found in the bed chambers of Sully’s main house. Identification cards list the country of origin and the date each doll was made.

Visitors will notice the diversity of materials used to construct each doll. From plastic to various fabrics, some faded with age, others bright and colorful. Highlights of the exhibit include a Japanese doll dressed in a flowing kimono with glowing white skin that contrasts sharply with the doll’s jet black hair.

Fans of the World War II era’s Rosie the Riveter will appreciate the doll in her likeness, replete with an iconic red bandana. Native American dolls sport braids decorated with colored yarn, and a doll from India wears a sari edged in shimmering metallic gold fabric.

Doll Crazy is included in the guided house tour. Tickets are $7 per adult, $6 for students 16 years and older, and $5 for seniors and children. Sully is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed Tuesdays.

Sully Historic Site is located at 3650 Historic Sully Way in Chantilly. For more information, call 703-437-1794.

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