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The Museum has nominated "Grace Darling," a doll from our collection, to be one of Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts.
This campaign from the Virginia Association of Museums is designed to create awareness of the importance of preserving artifacts in care at museums, libraries and archives throughout the commonwealth and in the District of Columbia.
Your donation can move her closer to being ready for exhibition!
History: This doll was named Grace Darling and was given to Sophia Strauss (ca. 1857-1940) when she was five years old in 1862, by a Confederate soldier, in Culpeper County, Virginia. Sophia donated the doll to the Museum on May 15, 1939. "I have owned it for past 76 years. I named her Grace Darling after the English Lighthouse Keeper's daughter [who rescued shipwreck survivors in 1838]. The doll was given to me in 1862 in Culpeper, Virginia by a Confederate soldier who was wounded in battle and was taken to my parents' home and nursed back to health by them. The dress the doll has on was made out of a dress my mother [Caroline Strauss] had made in Culpeper in 1856 and is an exact copy of Mother's dress which was in an excellent state of preservation." According to another relative (ca. 1938), the doll originally had a different outfit for each day of the week, as well as a necklace and locket (supposedly a replica of the one her grandmother wore). See the full donation form here.
We need to have the doll assessed by fabric and porcelain conservators in order to get estimates for conservation. You can help conserve this doll and make her fit for exhibition by contributing here.