The Doll Universe

Yesterday I stumbled upon an exhibition that was like walking into another universe, the doll universe, to be precise. I did not know about this exhibition, just saw the poster about it and knew right away this is not something you want to miss.

My jaw dropped as soon as I stepped into the room and I'll show you why.


This is the scene that expects any visitor stepping into the exhibition room. A pale voice greets you from the far end of the room and in the confusion you're in from seeing so many dolls, you don't even notice the lady, who's the creator and the owner of these gorgeous dolls. She knows that, so immediately comes to greet you and shares her story, to make you understand how the project started and why.

This private collection is made of around 350 dolls, all porcelain and dressed up with handmade costumes. Now you may ask, who on earth has that much free time, to buy and dress up as many dolls as you can see here, with handmade clothes, so this is where the artist tells her story.

This project was born in a very critical stage of the artist's life. Due to health issues and work place difficulties, at some point she was forced to make some lifestyle changes and what you see on the photos served for her as therapy. I've seen several similar cases, people turning to art and crafting in a difficult period of time, using art as therapy and in most of the cases it works.


Lack of space and light made my life difficult again, but I'm already used to it, so I tried to make the most of it with what I had.


While looking at the dolls, I tried to imagine what I would have done with such a task. Collecting dolls is easy if you have the funds, but making dresses for them is a totally different matter. You not only have to master some skills, but you need to design a concept too.


Most of the dolls were dressed in folk costumes, but not all. These little ladies for example were dressed in clothes dating back to the 18th, 19th century, as style I mean, not literally. There are a few identical, but most of the dresses are unique.


During my visit, people came and went and among the visitors there was a couple who were interested in buying one of the dolls. The artist told them the dolls are not for sale in general and that one would cost around 70€, but if they can find one they like, maybe she can sell it to them.


When you have around 350 dolls to choose from, there's obviously one you must like, so they picked one, but I did not see which one it was.


When I saw how many cute dolls were there, my plan was to take some nice close-ups as well, but that was out of question.



There were no kids present at the time of my visit, but I was wondering what their reaction would be when seeing all these cute dolls. How can you resist them?



These were the folk costumed dolls. If you take a closer look, you'll see that you can hardly find two dressed with the same costume.


Each region has it's own costume, but I'm not familiar with the details, so I suppose these costumes represent regions of the country.


However, to create so many different costume designs is not an easy task.


If I were to buy a few dolls, I would choose these in the front row. I consider these dolls vintage as these remind me of Dickens' England. Always wanted to have one vintage doll and never had any. Now I can afford to buy one, but I guess I won't :)


That little boy sitting on the top of the pole is the mascot of the exhibition. As the entry was free, I wanted to support the artist as it's the right thing to do, especially if you like the exhibition, so I bought a magnet with this boy on it. Now it's on my fridge and reminds me of this wonderful exhibition every time I open my fridge.





There were a few folk costumes displayed. On the above photo you can see how the yarn was made back in the day when everything was made manually.




Here you can see a snippet of Romanian folk tradition. Beds used to be covered with these homemade bed covers and embroidered pillows could not be missing either. Walls were covered with home woven cloths. Everything was homemade by the way.


That doll with the copper red hair caught my eye immediately. I don't know if it's a boy or a girl, can't figure it out and could not hold it in my hand either as touching the dolls was not permitted.


I hope you were able to select a few you like by now. If not, let me tell you that you're officially too fussy 😂


This little boy looked kind of sad, like someone who's been sent to the naughty corner.




Now look at this scene. It's not a random order of the dolls, it's a wedding scene.





And here it is, the mascot of the exhibition, the boy from my magnet.



For those of you who have never seen a porcelain doll, only the head is made of porcelain and maybe the hands and feet. The rest is made of canvas.

So, have you ever seen so many dolls in one place? All made of porcelain?

If you're a newbie, you may want to check out these guides:


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