“American Doll & Toy Museum" at the Moline Public Library -- November 28.

Tuesday, November 28, noon

Moline Public Library, 3210 41st Street, Moline IL

With the Moline Public Library's guest on November 28 a noted author and speaker, Dr. Ellen M. Tsagaris will deliver the presentation American Doll and Toy Museum, a lecture on the Rock Island venue for which she currently serves as executive director, with Tsagaris also showing some inclusion from her extensive collection and talking about the history of toys and dolls.

For centuries, dolls have been employed for religious rituals throughout the world, and traditional dolls made of materials such as clay and wood have been found in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe. The earliest documented dolls go back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, crafted as both crude, rudimentary playthings and elaborate artworks. Modern doll manufacturing has its roots in Germany, from the 15th century, though with industrialization and new materials such as porcelain and plastic, they were increasingly mass-produced. The earliest modern stuffed toys, meanwhile, were created in 1880. They differ from earlier rag dolls in that they are made of plush fur-like fabric and commonly portray animals rather than humans, with Teddy bears first appearing in the first years of the 20th century.

Program presenter Ellen M. Tsagaris, JD, PhD, has collected dolls since age three. She gives lectures, stages museum exhibits, appraises, and makes dolls. Dr. Tsagaris has also written books and articles about dolls, including With Love from Tin Lizzie; A History of Metal Dolls and A Bibliography of Doll & Toy Sources. Her articles have been published in Antique Doll Collector, Antique Trader, The Midwestern Journal of Victorian Studies, and The American Journal of Play. She blogged for R. John Wright, Ruby Lane, and Antique Doll Collector, and was also a guest columnist for the Argus/Dispatch. Dr. Tsagaris has won several writing awards and has appeared on radio and television programs, and recent local appearances have found her speaking at Davenport's German American Heritage Center on “History of Toy Making in Germany" and "Unraveling the Mystery of Dolls: Thrills, Halloween, & Germany."

Tsagaris delivers her in-person American Doll & Toy Museum presentation on November 28, participation in the noon program is free, and more information is available by calling (309)524-2470 and visiting MolineLibrary.com.

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