November 26, 2011

The Lonely Doll

Having photographed my own dolls, and having seen other people's photographs of my artwork, I am no longer surprised at the depth of emotion that Dare Wright was able to capture with two teddy bears and a doll. It's fun too!

I would recommend reading the book, The Lonely Doll, and yet, adults have a different experience reading it than children do. I know this because there was a huge gap between my childhood enjoyment of this wonderful book and my rediscovering of it as a grown up. As an adult, I was much more judgemental and critical than I was as a child. This story, and the wonderfully mysterious black and white photographs, have stayed with me over the years, and I'm so grateful that they do.

Dare Wright was an intriguing and deeply creative person. I read the unauthorized biography, The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll: the Search for Dare Wright by Jean Nathan, and although I am grateful to have learned about Dare and her family's history, I believe that the author sensationalized aspects of Dare's life in an unreasonable fashion. I believe that the author inferred much from one sided and partial resources. If you decide to learn more about Dare, read this biography with a grain of salt.

That said, I was impressed that Dare's mother was able to support herself and her daughter through the Great Depression by painting portraits of wealthy industrialists. I admire Dare's yearning to change her world to the one she desired through decorating her living spaces, designing and sewing her own clothes, and through her photography. It seemed to me that she lived the life she wanted to lead.

Dare's lasting influence is seen in the fact that her books are still in print, in many languages. For those of us who read her books as children, the stories and images are still with us in a strange and magnetic way.

Thank you Dare, for being yourself and sharing your talent with us.


  1. I love that Woodsman! Very expressive. I wish I had met him in person.

  2. That's very thought provoking. I'm not familiar with Wright's work. I'll have to check it out, and try to look at the pictures with childlike eyes. :0