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United Federation of Doll Clubs Convention – 2009

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by Virginia Davis, Doll Reader


The sweltering temperatures nearing the 100 degree mark and the humidity did not wilt the enthusiasm of over 1200 members attending the 60th annual convention of The United Federation of Doll Clubs in Atlanta, Georgia July 12-17th.

Members of the United Federation of Doll Clubs are united by their appreciation and passion for dolls. The objectives of this non-profit organization are to create, stimulate and maintain a national as well as international interest in all matters pertaining to playing with and collecting dolls.

The United Federation of Doll Clubs (UFDC) was incorporated in 1949 with fourteen charter clubs. Today there are over seven hundred member clubs from seventeen countries with a total membership of over fifteen thousand people. The headquarters and museum is located in Kansas City, Missouri. The headquarters houses its large doll collection and keeps permanent archives of historical documents related to the study and enjoyment of members and for public viewing.

Members this week attended: workshops, teas, exhibits, sales rooms, dinners, activities, competitions, lectures, auctions and events so numerous it took a program brochure of over 35 pages to list them all.

The nation’s economy maybe struggling, but it did not seem to influence the collectors who emerged from the salesrooms and auctions with smiles on their faces and their arms filled with bags of treasures purchased with as much love as money.

It was delightful to see modern dolls displayed alongside vintage dolls, antiques, teddy bears and toys. One large exhibit of paper dolls was especially Charming. Who would have ever believed Gone with the Wind paper dolls from the 1940s that sold for 25 cents would sell for $500?

A publishing event was held on Thursday night, and it is surprising how many books have been published about dolls and doll collecting.

Some of the other events included Robert Tonner with his Gone with the Wind dolls; Carol Spencer gave a talk about her years as the designer for Barbie; and Doll Reader sponsored a tea for children and their mothers or grandmothers in an effort to introduce them to doll collecting. A banquet was held where a souvenir doll created by doll artist Stephanie Blyth was presented to members attending.

Other shows included: Theriault’s Auction; The Doll Festival at the Holiday Inn; and the ODACA (Original Doll Artists Council of America) sale which features mostly OOAK (one of a kind) dolls.

Many conventioneers were proud of their ribbons won in the competitions or the dolls and clothes made from participating in workshops. By the end of the week those attending the convention were tired, their feet were hurting, their checkbooks were in shock, but their lips were smiling and spirits soaring as they hugged friends and promised to meet them in Chicago, Illinois in July of 2010 for the 61st annual convention of the wonderful United Federation of doll Clubs.

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