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Guide Does Anybody Want a Little Kewpie?

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The world needs to laugh or at least smile more than it does. In , the Kewpie leapt off the printed page, as more and more readers requested a doll they could hold in their hands.

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She traveled to Germany and asked the manufacturer to destroy the molds and start over. The next doll aced it. Made of matte porcelain bisque with a potbelly and a heart sticker, the Kewpie was an instant phenomenon. Besides dolls, all types of products craved a portion of the Kewpie brand: Jell-O, cameras, mayonnaise, door knockers. By that time, she had divorced her second husband and joyfully welcomed her sister as live-in business partner. She never wed again. She expanded her artistic repertoire into the s, with sculpture and poetry.

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Plans to create a new doll, called Little Ho Ho, were thwarted when the factory burned to the ground. Sign in Get started.

Kewpie Doll

To her surprise, Kewpie dolls became popular — a fad no one could escape — not only in the U. Apart from being a significant moneymaker, the Kewpies, as seen in the magazines, were cute characters with a message, often mocking elitist middle-class reformers, supporting racial equality and advocating for the poor.

Why is she getting them involved in politics? Votes for women.

Meet the hardcore feminist who created the cute Kewpie doll

Oh, OK. Brewster says she once paid for everyone in Branson to be immunized against smallpox, and she frequently gave money to artists in search of success and fans who wrote her letters. According to Prieto, it was the more-radical suffragists who added public marches to the movement. Kewpies played a role in these activities. There was the rally in Nashville where Kewpie dolls wearing suffrage sashes rained upon the crowd. Besides lending a celebrity to the cause, Kewpies helped the suffrage movement combat the stereotype of a feminist as old, ugly and anti-men, Prieto says.

She also contributed a Kewpie to a suffrage exhibit at a New York art gallery. Kewpies were a fad with surprising staying power, but they were still a fad.


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Kewpie knockoffs became more common, and people eventually lost interest in the dolls. At one point, she studied sculpture under Auguste Rodin in Paris. She died penniless in But her influence and Kewpie dolls remain. As the letter written by the reader of Woman's Home Companion stated:. Subscribe or Give a Gift. Sign up.


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Meet the hardcore feminist who created the cute Kewpie doll

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