Johnny Gruelle, Creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy
While most of the public is aware of Raggedy Ann and her brother, Raggedy Andy, most would not be able to name their creator-Johnny Gruelle. Few knew that the father of these famed rag dolls was a premier illustrator, artist, and toy maker of the early twentieth century. This work tells the life of Gruelle through text, photographs, and many delightful illustrations. Hall's research represents a majority of the creations of Johnny Gruelle, available for the first time in one place.
The book links the story of Gruelle and his famed rag dolls to twentieth-century American events. It explores the significance of World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II on the growth of the toy industry. Plus, Hall relates how Gruelle's work mirrored the development of American entertainment venues such as newspapers, magazines, and illustrated books. The book also investigates the many prevailing myths about Raggedy Ann, and portrays Johnny Gruelle as a man deeply attuned to the magic and whimsy found in his writings and illustrations.
Patricia Hall is a lifelong collector of Raggedy Ann and Andy. In 1990 and 1991 she was curator of the Indiana State Museum's Johnny Gruelle and Raggedy Ann exhibit. When Hall first started collecting Gruelle books and then Raggedy Ann material, she discovered a void of documented information on Gruelle and his dolls. Her efforts have also resulted in Raggedy Ann and More: Johnny Gruelle's Dolls and Merchandise and Raggedy and Andy Postcard Book, both published by Pelican.
Authorized by the Gruelle family, Hall's work uses many previously unpublished photographs and verbal accounts from Gruelle's family and friends. Hall says, "The perspective of these individuals was crucial to my understanding and portrayal of Johnny Gruelle the man."
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