Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum
Paper Cuts: 200 Years of Black Paper Dolls documents the evolving cultural images of African Americans throughout the last 200 years: from Little Black Sambo to Tiger Woods; from Josephine Baker to Beyoncé. Drawn from the extensive collection of writer and researcher Arabella Grayson, the exhibit will feature some of the first black paper dolls produced in the United States—the family of characters from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin—and the rise of one of the most recognizable African Americans in advertising, Aunt Jemimah. Using paper dolls as social and historic markers, the exhibit travels from the civil rights movement to present day sports and entertainment figures while illuminating changing cultural images of African Americans. Paper Cuts presents an enlightening, and often unsettling, record of American cultural attitudes. No longer simple playthings, paper dolls are vehicles of satire, of critique, and, more importantly, are a tribute to exceptional people and events.