Shadow Sisters Life/Death


by Stefanie Vega
porcelain, wood, fabric
18.5″ x 9″ x 5″
Based on the old American folk “Topsy-Turvy” dolls…
African American slave women may have given dolls like these to their daughters as a preparation for a possibility of a life devoted to nurturing two babies, one black, one white. Topsy-turvy dolls are designed for children to play with one baby at a time, and this accurately reflects the division of caregiving that African American women encountered, having to care for white children during the day and their own at night.
Note dresses are pinned to reveal dolly below.
double sided porcelain dollies
removable & interchangeable
mounted on sculpted and painted board

SKU: 12062 Category:


by Stefanie Vega
porcelain, wood, fabric
18.5″ x 9″ x 5″
From the tales that left profound impressions in my earliest childhood memories, I began working not only with unwanted doll parts, but with skull & bones & birds. They spoke to me of wanting to tell the bigger story. The dolls we played with as children were the totems of our dreams. Upon them we laid our hopes & fears…upon them we projected our greatest selves. I was serenaded by haunting lullabies from long ago. So, drawing on an enormous pool of archetypes & folklore & developing characters based on children’s literature & faerie tales, a new hybrid was born. I began to write verse in order to share the tales that influenced the work. This rogue taxidermy with discarded porcelain doll parts and accompanying limerick became a cross-breeding of the unexpected & a departure from the familiar. Like the resurrection of the forgotten they tell the tales from the soul of the world because they jar the collective memory we have of imagery & symbolism. This collection gives voice to an age old doll tradition that insists on singing its own song.

Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 9 x 5 x 18.5 in


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