Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kimport Dolls a legacy of award winning artist Ruby Short McKim

Queen Marie Antoinette is a popular personality for doll artists and I have an Ebay alert that checks the latest auctions for dolls that depict her.  Today, I received a notice of a nice example of a Kimport Doll designed to represent the famous French queen.

Kimport Dolls were produced by McKim Studios, founded in Independence, Missouri by artist Ruby Short McKim, 1891-1976.

"Ruby Short McKim, 1891-1976, was the prototype for today's modern woman. Artist, author, businesswoman, wife and mother - she excelled in all areas. A graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York City, Ruby returned to Independence to become the Art Supervisor for the Kansas City Public Schools. After her marriage to Arthur McKim, she began her work as an advisor to Child Life Magazine and created a continuity strip that was one of the first in syndication. This feature in the Chicago Daily News ran for many years. As a couple, the McKims opened a mail-order outlet, McKim Studios, which specialized in needlecraft items and in antique and foreign dolls. At this same time, Ruby was Art Needlework Editor for Better Homes and Gardens." - McKim Studios Revival: Ruby Short McKim 

[Image (right) courtesy of McKim Studios]

Her artistry was also expressed in water colors and oils as well as quilt designs that she syndicated to newspapers and eventually incorporated into the book One Hundred and One Patchwork Patterns.  Her talent was formally recognized after her death when she was posthumously named to the Quilters Hall of Fame in 2002.

McKim Studios still offers many of her award-winning patterns for sale on their website.

Marie Antoinette: The Journey    Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution   The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette   Marie-Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles   Marie Antoinette   Marie-Therese: The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter
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