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Miss Patricia Ann McDale

paper doll

Helen Patterson Anderson created her own paper dolls and fashions for them in the 1930s when she was about 10 or 12 years old. She stored her works of art in candy boxes labeled "My first paper doll also Topsy," "Miss Patricia Ann McDale and/or Mrs. Dick De Leon. Made a debut . . . got married 1935-1937." These boxes contain four figures (two adult females with numerous outfits, a male figure, and a little African-American girl named Topsy). Using pen and ink, pencil, and watercolors, Helen created whole wardrobes for the two female figures reflective of the life and activities of upper middle class women of the mid-20th century. Packets of clothes bear labels such as suits, tea gowns and dresses, evening dresses, everyday dresses, coats and capes, dogs, hats, etc., shorts, bathing suits, and costumes, town dresses and working dresses, and slacks, ski suits, riding habits, ice skating outfits, etc. These paper dolls suggest how a preteen viewed the adult world as it was in the 1930s.

  • Artist: Helen Patterson Anderson
  • Manufacturer: Helen Patterson Anderson
  • Material: paper | watercolor | pen | ink
  • Origin: Rogers, AR
  • Style: handmade
  • Object ID: 112.5378
  • Credit Line: Gift of Lucette and Harold White
Creative Commons License