Saturday, January 08, 2011

Raggedy Ann

 Raggedy Ann
Acrylic 8 x 10

Available for purchase here.

I recall having a doll like this sometime during childhood as well as books about her and her brother Andy and they were, and likely still are, popular.  However, I never knew the story behind the doll.

According to Wikipedia:

John Gruelle created Raggedy Ann for his daughter, Marcella, when she brought him an old hand-made rag doll and he drew a face on it. From his bookshelf, he pulled a book of poems by James Whitcomb Riley, and combined the names of two poems, "The Raggedy Man" and "Little Orphant Annie." He said, "Why don’t we call her Raggedy Ann?" 

The character was created in 1915 as a doll, and was introduced to the public in the 1918 book Raggedy Ann Stories. A doll was also marketed along with the book to great success. A sequel, Raggedy Andy Stories (1920) introduced the character of her brother, Raggedy Andy, dressed in sailor suit and hat.

Marcella died at age 13 after being vaccinated at school for smallpox without her parents' consent. Authorities blamed a heart defect, but her parents blamed the vaccination. Gruelle became an opponent of vaccination, and the Raggedy Ann doll was used as a symbol by the anti-vaccination movement.

6 comments:

Jennifer Rose said...

huh, I didn't know that about the doll. I do remember having one, and even dressing up one year for Halloween as the character.

Christiane Kingsley said...

Beautiful painting and fascinating facts about Raggedy Anne! I always learn something interesting when I visit your blog, Jeanette!

Hedera said...

How poignant... I had no idea!! An expressive and appealing work Jeanette

Jeanette said...

They're very appealing and timeless characters and I've seen people dressed as them several times Jennifer.

Thanks Christiane.

Denise, its interesting to find out the history behind something. I had no idea either before I researched it.

Sue Pownall (aka travelingsuep) said...

Great painting and I also liked the history behind it too.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Sue. It was an interesting history of the character.