Learn about Kewpie Doll
The Kewpie character was the invention of artist and cartoonist, Rose O'Neill (1874-1944). She had a strong interest in drawing from an early age, and after winning a prize in a drawing competition at the age of 13, and within two years was employed full-time a an artist for two magazines.
At he age of 19 she moved to New York to further her career, and within a few years became America's first woman cartoonist.
After two failed marriages she moved to live in a cottage in Missouri, and it was here, in 1909 at the age of 25 she created the line drawings for the Kewpie character for which she is so famous.
The line drawings were used by design student Joseph Kallus, to create the Kewpie doll. Kallus worked for Geo. Borgfeldt & Co. who had secured the distribution rights for the Kewpie doll.
The doll was an immediate success and by 1918 there were 21 factories in Germany and the United States producing kewpies to meet the demand experienced by Geo. Borgfeldt & Co.
The various manufacturers each specialised in making Kewpies in different materials. There were all bisque kewpies, celluloid kewpies and cloth and composition versions. more...