Doll making has changed radically in the past 200 years with the introduction of modern materials such as porcelain, vinyl, composition and resin. Doll design has also changed over this time but with only a handful of very influential movements such as the French Fashion Dolls in the 1800's typified by Bru and Jumeau. Another was the Munich Art Dolls of the early 1900's. Kathe Kruse dolls typified this movement which continues today: their wonderful dolls are a model of understated charm...classic simplicity with straight arms and a straightforward gaze.
Capturing The Motion And Life Of A Child
With her Barefoot Children in 1986, Annette Himstedt established a bold new direction for doll making. Gone was any mannequin-like structure: her dolls were like children at play with bent arms and fingers sculpted in relaxed, natural positions. Annette captured movement in her sculpts with her innovative natural posing. The large scale of her dolls was unique and very engaging. And their shoes, usually an integral part of a doll, were completely gone! Several artists such as Hildegard Gunzel and Rotraut Schrott were also breaking from traditional doll making; yet with the phenomenal and immediate commercial success of the Barefoot Children at their debut, it was Annette who defined this movement and inspired many artists to follow.
A Renewed Interest
This dramatic change sparked a renewed interest in dolls and Annette has presented fresh and exciting creations for over two decades! When history reflects on this time, it will surely credit Annette for inspiring artists to new and remarkable levels of creativity in the Realistic Doll Movement of the twentieth century.