I absolutely loved the exhibition "Black dolls, the Deborah Neff collection" at Maison Rouge.
This Neff collection shows, for the first time outside the United States, more than 200 black dolls designed and handmade by anonymous African-American between 1840 and 1940, and a set of 80 photographs from the same period of time, representing young children with their dolls.
For nearly a century, between 1840 and 1940, African-American women designed and made ragdolls for their own children, or the children they looked after. Over a period of twenty-five years, Deborah Neff, a lawyer living in Connecticut, built up what is the most extensive and rigorously selected collection of these dolls anywhere. Where most people dismissed such objects as domestic artifacts of no great interest, Neff patiently tracked down these specimens whose beauty, formal diversity and originality is so immediately obvious to us today.
The dolls are made with various fabrics, leather and wood. Each and every one of them is interesting and fascinating. I loved them all. They are all so beautiful. They give an insight into the history of America's Black population. They represent all ages, from the infant to the old man, and all social classes, from the stylish lady to the worker. I loved their clothes.
Nb: Don't miss the short movie shown at the very back of the basement.
Please note: At 4pm, on Saturdays and Sundays, there is a free commented visit in French.
Until May 20th, 2018
10 boulevard de la Bastille - 75012 Paris
Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm (late opening on Tursday, until 9pm)