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A city sophisticate as lovely as the glossy-leafed magnolia and densly-foliaged trees softening her streetscapes that never ceases to charm. Atlanta comes alive in this stunning collection of images by photographer Paul Scharff and captivating imagery by Kathryn Witt.

From Atlanta Georgia: A Photographic Portrait

Atlanta. Southern-bred and worldly-wise, this densely forested urban dynamo is an international cultural melting pot renowned for its world-class attractions, culinary and shopping landscapes, and neighborhoods as individual in spirit and mien as the people who make up Atlanta’s diverse communities.

Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range, the Atlanta metropolitan region encompasses 28 counties, stretches languidly across more than 6,000 square miles, and is called home by more than 5 million residents – a population that swells to accommodate some 35 million visitors annually from across the U.S. and around the world.

Founded in 1837, Georgia’s capital and the state’s largest city is a robust financial center and a major transportation hub, a leader in higher education and medical research, and an innovator in information technology. Atlanta is a visionary whose story is written on her skyline. And she is a survivor.

Like the phoenix of ancient mythology that is her symbol, Atlanta rose from the ashes of the conflagration that burned the city to the ground and brought the community to its knees during General Sherman’s Civil War March to the Sea. And she rose heroically – ascending to skyscraping heights in her architecture, gleaming modern and postmodern structures housing a heavy concentration of Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 companies.

Atlanta has achieved superlative triumphs in attractions that include the world’s largest aquarium, world headquarters for the first all-news television channel in the United States, and an entire “world” feting a beverage.

She has attained the upper reaches of the cultural stratosphere in gems that include the leading art museum in the southeastern United States, one of the oldest zoos in the country, a garden nurturing the nation’s foremost collection of species orchids, and a public art program whose sculptures enrich streetscapes throughout the city.

Once the homeland of Native Americans, Atlanta has risen to history’s challenges from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement and emerged an important international city with an excellent quality of life. It is a place on history’s timeline marked with names like Jimmy Carter, Margaret Mitchell, Martin Luther King, Jr., Joel Chandler Harris, Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler, and renowned architect John Portman.

Those who call Atlanta home and those who are welcomed as visitors will see a bold survivor with Southern grace and charm and international aspirations and achievements.


CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN DOLL ARTISTS & THEIR DOLLS is the first by Collector Books to focus not only on dolls, but on the artists who created them. The book highlights 25 contemporary doll designers and their dolls, including Sue Sizemore (Kacinda), Anna Puchalski (limited edition Cocoa), Monica Reo (Alissa), Karen Williams Smith (The Promise), Kim Jelley (Blue Ice Faerie), Mary Ellen Frank (Lizzie and Oleanna), Marilyn Radzat (The Golden Faerie), and many more. Artist profiles are provided, which share the stories behind the creation of the dolls and the source of inspiration for the artists.

Sections include healing and spirituality, history and heritage, storybook creatures and characters, Christmastide, needle arts, and more. Almost 200 beautiful color photographs make the book shine.

From Contemporary American Doll Artists & Their Dolls . . .

The Legend of La Befana
There are many versions of the legend of La Befana (the Italian “gift giver”), a favorite subject to sculpt for both Cheryl Brenner and Deanna Brenner. One popular rendition is that the Three Kings, en route to see the Christ Child, stopped at La Befana’s home on their way to Bethlehem. They dined with her and then invited her to join them in their journey, but she refused in order to wash and clean up after dinner.

At some point in the evening, La Befana changed her mind and decided to join the Three Kings. Gathering up some gifts for the Christ Child, she set out to find the Three Kings, but she could find neither them nor the babe. She continues searching even today. Consequently, on the eve of January 5 and the morning of January 6, she visits the children of Italy to fill their stockings with sweet, curly candy if they have been good and with lumps of black coal if they have been bad.

La Befana is both mysterious and old-fashioned, yet children in different parts of the world still wait for the dear, old woman to pay them a call on her holiday, the Epiphany.

Read more about the Brenners' Christmas dolls, as well as those made by Kentucky doll artist Lindy Evans and Native American doll artist Mary Masters in Contemporary American Doll Artists and Their Dolls. This book is availabe through the publisher, Collector Books, for $29.95 - or buy an autographed copy from the author at a discounted price of $20 + $3.50 S/H. Click button above book cover.

DOLL DIRECTORY: A GUIDE TO U.S. DOLL MUSEUMS, COLLECTIONS & HOSPITALS is a detailed, state-by-state guide listing the museums and collections of antique, art, baby, contemporary, fashion, and miniature dolls, plus special category collections including the W.P.A. dolls found in museums, libraries, and historical societies, bed and breakfast inns, and other venues that have permanent quality collections of dolls for public viewing. The book includes listings of doll hospitals and their specialties, plus directories of national doll organizations and clubs and a guide to annual doll shows. Interviews with a doll museum curator, doll doctor, costumer, show director, and artist, plus in-depth articles on selected collections, will give readers a behind-the-scenes look at the doll world from many different perspectives. Doll 'dream destinations' will be included as well. The Doll Directory is the indispensable guide every doll lover/collector needs to find museums and collections to visit, hospitals for doll reconstruction and restoration, doll clubs and organizations to join, and doll shows to attend.

From Doll Directory . . .

Yesterday’s Children Antique Doll & Toy Museum
1104 Washington Street
Vicksburg, MS 39183
(601) 638-0650
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Christmas and Thanksgiving
Admission: Adults $3.00; Under 12 $2.00
Groups 10+: Adults $2.00; under 12 $1.25
Carolyn and Michael Bakarich, owners

A lifelong doll collector, Carolyn has over 1,000 dolls on exhibit in four rooms in her museum located in Vicksburg’s historic downtown district. Housed in an 1849 building, the museum is home to one of the largest collections in the United States of 19th- and early 20th-century French and German bisque head dolls. Most French doll makers are represented: Bru, Steiner, Jumeau and S.F.B.J. (Societe Francaise de Fabrication de Bebes & Jouets). German dolls include those by Kammer and Reinhardt, Kestner, Heinrich Handwerck, Kley and Hahn, Bahr and Proschilde, Simon and Halbig, Koenig and Wernicke, Cuno and Otto Dressel, Heubach and others. Carolyn’s personal favorites include Simon and Halbig 949s and 939s that were made for the French trade. She also favors the 42- to 46-inch bisque head and composition body show dolls that were made to be displayed in shop windows at Christmastime to advertise dolls for sale inside the stores.

The museum also has a Shirley Temple collection, many in original costumes, that begins with a 1936 Shirley and runs through 1984. The many Madame Alexander dolls include early compositions and follow-on plastic dolls. There are 1920s and 1930s composition “mama” dolls, ventriloquist dolls, foreign dolls, large companion and baby walker dolls and movie/television star dolls. Rounding out the collection are Barbies and the Annette Himstedt “Barefoot Children.

Read about doll collections across the United States in the Doll Directory: A Guide to U.S. Doll Museums, Collections & Hospitals. This book is availabe through the publisher, Collector Books, for $14.95 - or buy an autographed copy from the author at a discounted price of $10 + $2.50 S/H. Click button above book cover.