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If you're driving down from Washington State to Portland, Oregon enjoying the amazing scenery of the Columbia River Gorge, just about the time to you hit the state line, you'll notice a small sign for the Maryhill Museum of Art. Located in a mansion intended for the entrepreneur Sam Hill (a fun factoid: his wife's maiden name was also Hill and after they married, she went by Mary Hill Hill). The mansion opened as a museum almost a decade after Hill's death and has been the recipiently of oddly wonderful treasures, including Auguste Rodin's The Thinker, icons from Queen Marie of Romania, 300 chess sets from around the world and a number of two-foot hight wire dolls wearing the height of mid-1940s French fashions that were part of the Théâtre de la Mode, the Theatre of Fashion.
These 1/3 scale mannequins were created as part of a traveling exhibition to raise funds for war survivors and to revive the post-war French fashion industry. In 1946, more than 200 of these petite ambassadors of style left Paris for with 15 backdrops and headed to Barcelona, London, Vienna, Stockholm, Copenhagen, New York and San Francisco's de Young museum. After the exhibit, the dolls were stored until 1952 when museum patron and socialite Alma Spreckels brokered a deal to have them donated the museum founded by her friend Sam.
Music: Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com
- Lesley Scott