Sunday, November 6, 2016

November Interview with Caroline Johnson

I'm very privileged to have as our November interviewee, my good friend Caroline Johnson, who has lived as a citizen of the world, and who has collected the magnificent dolls of the world's cultures, her entire life.  I started collecting cultural dolls and international dolls, then branched into antiques.  Like Caroline, many of my dolls were purchased all over the world.  We follow the tradition of former Pan Am Vice President Sam Pryor, who founded his own International Doll Library with dolls collected on his travels, and early doll author, Laura Starr, who wrote The Doll Book (1908).  Where international dolls like these are concerned, their popularity as collectibles continues, in art fueled by the love of the Disney Its a Small World Attraction. Shankar's International Doll Museum has a collections of them.  So do The Smithsonian and The British Museum.  For dolls, it is indeed a small world after all.
Close up of a Papier Mache War Memorial Doll, French.  Similar
Dolls are marked "Eden Bebe." Caroline Johnson Collection.

When did you start collecting?

 I always have loved dolls. My official collecting started when I was eleven and growing up in India. For my 11yh birthday my parents gave me 6 Indian dolls. Muslim dolls, Hindu dolls and my favorite, a snake charmer with a cobra in his basket. My mother grew up in India too and when I was 12 we went to the States on furlough and my parents bought me dolls all across Europe & Scandinavia. Then mom gave me her original collection. That's how my eclectic collection began.

Vintage Dolls from Asia
Caroline  Johnson Collection

 Have your tastes changed over the years?

Yes, I love cultural dolls, but have expanded to collecting vintage &  antique dolls. Dolls that have stories are my favorite.

Vintage Ad for Baby Blue Eyes; Caroline Johnson Collection

What are the characteristics that attract you to a certain doll?

 The workmanship and uniqueness attract me the most.

Unique Dolls from Mallorca

Do you sew for your dolls?

Yes I do sew & repair dolls.

Vintage and Antique Kitchen Toys
Caroline Johnson Collection

Dolls Commemorating a 2016 Expedition to Mt. Everest

Are you looking for anything in particular?

 If I stumble on an antique doll at a good price I buy it, but I'm very intrigued in small vintage & antique dolls

A&M German Bisque

Hertwig China Head


  1. Great interview! I really enjoyed learning more about doll collecting, and the photos are wonderful.

  2. Beautiful article on an amazing doll collector!♡