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Kim Duke speaks to members of the Art Circle about her collection of Bleuette dolls.

The usual second-Friday-of-the-month meeting for members of The Art Circle took place Feb. 8 at the Art Circle Public Library Community Room. Cake, served by hostesses Leila Carley and Kim Duke before the official meeting began, carried the message that explained the history of this organization, "1898-2008 110 Years — Ladies of The Art Circle Still Going Strong."

President Suzann Griffith welcomed everyone and introduced the speaker for the program, Kim Duke, who later gave a very informed, entertaining program about her collection of Bleuette dolls.

Reference librarian Margo Brown made a few brief announcements about the many and varied programs taking place at the Art Circle Public Library. She handed out "Book Ends" information sheets covering the

programs with a calendar for the month of February, showing the times and dates for all the upcoming activities. Also mentioned were the prizes being given by local area businesses to adult readers at the library who check out books, tapes, CDs or listen to books on the READS Web site. This contest runs through March 31.

Member Kim Duke then shared the story of her collection of seven very lovely cherub-looking Bleuette dolls, dressed in colorful, intricately sewn outfits. She explained they were made of composition bodies and came in four different molds. Also shown were some of their many accessories, including purses, rosaries and crosses. There was also doll furniture and, she explained, some even have tricycles. On a display board behind her were beautifully hand-made dresses and other attire for the dolls, sewn by Duke and another Bleuette doll collector.

Duke explained that the Bleuette dolls were made in France from 1905 until 1960. The manufacture of the dolls came about as a result of a magazine promotion for young girls. They were awarded a doll if they sold the most magazine subscriptions (the magazines published doll patterns in them). This became so successful, they sold out of dolls and thus began a new industry — Bleuette Doll Manufacturing. She said France and Germany are still manufacturing dolls and she considered them the "best dolls."

Duke recommended the book "Bleuette — The Doll and Her Wardrobe" by Barbara Hillinger for further information about these dolls.

Duke said she belongs to a doll collectors' group and they have retreats and seminars and the National Convention of United Federation of Doll Clubs holds a Bleuette Luncheon each year.

President Griffith thanked Duke for the very interesting and informative program. She then asked members for continued support of the Art Circle Public Library, financially and through service whenever possible.

Once again, the members from this organization, founded in 1898, will join forces and promote as only they can, the continued success of the public library which came about as a result of their perseverance and

dedication. Just as they held bake sales, bazaars, etc. to earn money for the first library, they now will be planning on ways to earn money to help with the building of the new library. And, they will have an added

incentive — the new library will once again bear their name.