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Kewpie Dolls

In 1909, illustrator and artist Rose O’Neill had a dream about plump little creatures she called Kewpies®, short for Cupid. “Cupid gets you into trouble and the Kewpies get you out,” explained O’Neill. The purpose of these creatures is to perform good deeds in a funny way. They were often seen battling injustice or promoting women's suffrage, and they always made the reader laugh.
Kewpie® first appeared as illustrations in the December issue of Woman’s Home Companion, and was an immediate success. “Kewpie Pages,” which consisted of entire pages of the drawings accompanied by a short story or prose, became regular features in popular women’s magazines. These cheerful cherubs were soon easily recognized and well-loved by many Americans, and their antics and adventures brought smiles to the faces of many.

As the drawings became more familiar, O'Neill created Kewpie Kutouts. These paper dolls had both a front and a back side, and were accompanied by short stories. O’Neill next created comic pages, which were printed in several newspapers. She also wrote books which included segments from former Kewpie pages, along with new materials. Eventually the Kewpie transformed into dolls and I have a wonderful example from the 1950s in my Etsy store:
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1 comment:

  1. I had this doll as a child, and then got another one a couple years ago...the latest one sat on a lamp and when it was turned on, the back legs scorched. This one is lovely...wish I had a whole room full of them, and I will never really understand why, heheh