For generations, Raggedy Ann has been an ageless playmate for children and collectors. In 2015, she celebrated her 100th birthday. Now thanks to the inspiration of Lesley Montgomery, the Western Room in the Kentucky Building is exhibiting books from Library Special Collections and the co-curators’ loaned dolls. A total of ten children’s stories written by Raggedy Ann author Johnny Gruelle in the 1920’s are also featured in the exhibit.
Lesley is donating the 1947 edition of Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle (published originally in 1918), a favorite since her aunt gave it as a Christmas present to her as a three-year-old in 1959. Lesley’s loaned pair of “Fifties” Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls sit on the top shelf. Santa brought co-curator Sue Lynn Stone McDaniel’s Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann in 1973. Coincidentally, the child’s soda fountain chair in which Sue Lynn’s doll sits was a
Christmas present to Sue Lynn’s aunt in 1921 and passed down to Sue Lynn before 1977, giving her doll a comfortable chair. Sophie Trent, a Kentucky Museum student employee, is bringing her pair of dolls to join the exhibit after Thanksgiving, once again proving the enduring joy these dolls bring to kids of all ages.
The second case exhibits children’s stories Johnny Gruelle wrote and a book entitled Johnny Gruelle, creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy. Several of WKU Library Special Collections’ books are one of less than ten reported to WorldCat.
We encourage readers to comment on this blog with your own stories about your Raggedy Ann books and/or dolls. The exhibit will be open through December 11, 2015.