National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Corn Husk Doll Corn Husk Doll
Rendered by Jane Iverson (artist), c. 1936
watercolor, graphite, and gouache on paper
overall: 27.8 x 22.4 cm (10 15/16 x 8 13/16 in.) Original IAD Object: 8 1/4" high
Index of American Design
1943.8.15609
Not on View
From the Tour: Dolls from the Index of American Design
Object 4 of 26

The range of materials used to make dolls shows great ingenuity. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a number of American dolls were made from cornhusks and corncobs. This cornhusk doll was made about 1895 in Essex County, Massachusetts. The husk forms the head, limbs, and clothes; cornsilk provides the hair. Cornhusk dolls may have been invented by the early settlers themselves or copied from the Indians. Improvised, handmade dolls of various materials are a tradition in America. Common in the early days of our country, homemade dolls are still found in areas where the commercially produced type is not easily affordable.

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