This exhibit showcased some 75 dolls and puppets from 30 countries given to Caroline Kennedy between 1961 and 1963. Foreign dignitaries and first ladies, including Italy’s Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani, the Ivory Coast’s President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Monaco’s Princess Grace, and the wife of France’s President Charles de Gaulle presented dolls as state gifts. Other dolls in the collection were gifts from foreign citizens who did not hold official government positions"

This collection represents what was a remarkable time at the White House. "Not only did the nation and world benefit from the energy and fresh outlook of a brilliant young president, but also from the liveliness and fun of his young family," said Deborah Leff, Director of the Kennedy Library and Museum.

Born in 1957, Caroline Kennedy was a three-year-old when her father took the oath of office as President of the United States on January 21, 1961. (Her brother, John, was two months old at the time.) She attended kindergarten at the White House in classes organized by her mother, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Some of the most recognizable images of the Kennedy White House include photographs of the Kennedy children in the Oval Office and with their parents.

"This has been quite an undertaking from a conservation perspective," said Frank Rigg, the Museum’s Curator. "Many of the dolls are handcrafted and therefore both beautiful and delicate. Restoration efforts have returned each doll to its original appearance and will serve to preserve all the dolls for years to come."

The centerpiece of the exhibit was the playhouse presented to Caroline Kennedy by Jacqueline de Gaulle, wife of French President Charles de Gaulle. The five-foot tall playhouse is white with red roof and shutters and has "Caroline" inscribed by the front door. Caroline Kennedy’s children also played in the playhouse when they were youngsters.

The collection also includes dolls and puppets from Uruguay, Guatemala, Colombia, Austria, Holland, Wales, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Pakistan, Jordan, Korea, Canada, Greece, and Puerto Rico. A Kachina doll from the National Congress of American Indians that was presented to President Kennedy is also in the exhibit.


The collection of dolls includes:

  • A Peruvian mother-and-child doll from the First Lady of Peru, Senora de Prado, wife of President Manuel Prado
  • Clay dolls depicting Indian women dressed in brightly colored saris from the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi
  • A Monegasque palace guard from Princess Grace of Monaco
  • An African doll in a colorful print costume with matching turban from Ivory Coast President Felix Houphouet-Boigny
  • Eighteen dolls representing Mexico’s diverse regions from the First Lady of Mexico, Ave Lopez Mateos
  • An Italian Lenci doll in traditional costume from the Prime Minister of Italy, Amintore Fanfani
  • Two dolls in traditional French costumes and a playhouse from the wife of the President of France Charles de Gaulle
  • A Norwegian boy and girl in festive attire from Norwegian Prime Minister Einar Gerhardsen
  • An Indonesian doll from President Sukarno of Indonesia
  • The centerpiece of the exhibit was the playhouse presented to Caroline Kennedy by Jacqueline de Gaulle, wife of French President Charles de Gaulle. The five-foot tall playhouse is white with red roof and shutters and has "Caroline" inscribed by the front door. Caroline Kennedy’s children also played in the playhouse when they were youngsters.
  • The collection also includes dolls and puppets from Uruguay, Guatemala, Colombia, Austria, Holland, Wales, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Pakistan, Jordan, Korea, Canada, Greece, and Puerto Rico. A Kachina doll from the National Congress of American Indians that was presented to President Kennedy is also in the exhibit.

 

Exhibit is sponsored by:

 Showcase Cinemas logo   



Palace Guard Doll

Palace Guard Doll

Palace Guard Doll

Morvian Dolls

Morvian Dolls

Morvian Dolls

Peruvian Mother and Child Dolls

Peruvian Mother and Child Dolls

Female Doll Carrying a Baby from Cuzco, Peru