Name: Wilma

Made by and When: Mary Moline for Rumbleseat Press, Inc., 1981

Material: Porcelain

Marks: 3832 (stamped on the back of the neck); ©MARY MOLINE / MADE IN W-GERMANY PPI / Nr. 5 (incised horizontally across the back); a metal Rumbleseat Dolls logo hangs from the belt of the dress.

Height: 10-1/2 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Black synthetic wig styled in three braids (two side braids and one in the top-center of the head), brown stationary eyes, closed mouth with pink coral lips.

Clothes and Accessories: White cotton dress, white cotton full slip, white panties, white socks, and white vinyl sneakers; school books, ruler, pencils tied to left wrist

Other: Wilma is an all-porcelain ebony complexioned doll by artist, Mary Moline, made in Western Germany in 1981. Wilma was inspired by the 1963 Norman Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With.”  As written on the doll’s box, “This doll is one in a series of exclusive limited-edition collectibles that authentically duplicate the ‘true to life’ detailing that Mr. Rockwell is remembered for.  He endowed us with over 3,000 such portrayals of the yesterdays he wanted us to remember…”

Rockwell’s painting, “The Problem We All Live With” depicts 6-year-old Ruby Nell Bridges being escorted to school by White federal marshals with a defaced wall of racist graffiti as the backdrop. Amid mobs of White protestors who would later remove their children from the school, Ruby Nell Bridges became the first Black child to attend William Frantz Elementary School and the first Black child to attend a White school in Louisiana. Below the gallery photos, view a video of Ruby Nell Bridges Hall as she recounts the experience.



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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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