The Austin Doll Collectors Society is an organization of antique, vintage, and modern doll collectors, dealers, and artisans. We meet on the first Monday of each month and our meetings are fun and educational. We begin with refreshments and socializing, and, following our brief business meeting, there is a special doll-related program and "show and tell." The Austin Doll Collectors Society is a nonprofit organization and is a member of the United Federation of Doll Clubs.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Women Doll Artists; Grace Storey Putnam

This bevy of babies are all-bisque versions of the Bye-Lo baby designed by American artist and sculptor Grace Storey Putnam. Putnam, after her divorce from sculptor Arthur Putnam in 1915, gave art lessons and sculpted to support her family. She wanted to create a doll portraying a new born baby and in 1920, using a three-day old baby girl as her model, sculpted a life-like baby head of wax. She approached George Borgfeldt and Company, a doll importer and distributor in New York City, about creating the doll in bisque and in 1923 the first Bye-Lo babies hit the market. And hit they did--the doll was so popular it was christened the "Million Dollar Baby." In addition to a doll with a bisque head and celluloid hands on a cloth body modeled to resemble a floppy newborn, the popular Bye-Lo also appeared in a variety of all-bisque versions, and, for adult fans, as pincushion dolls and salt and pepper shakers  The Bye-Lo was also made in other materials, such as composition, and was produced in some form through the 1950s.  Although the marks on the dolls vary over the years, except for the smallest all-bisque babies, they all carry Putnam's name.  The largest baby in the picture is six inches long and the little frozen action Bye-lo is 3.25 inches long.  

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