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‘The Lonely Doll’ Revisited

Photography

A rare gallery show of Dare Wright’s creepy-plush creations.

Through April 28th, Fred Torres Collaborations gallery in NYC is showing what purports to be the first photographic exhibition of images shot by the author of “The Lonely Doll” series of children’s books.

Of course, grown-up gals were equally transfixed by these simply-penned, black-and-white books, starting with the eponymous 1957 publication. There were ten books in all, but “The Lonely Doll” is the one that remains indelible for its pervy imagery of its star, Mr. Bear (a stand-up and stuffed Schucoteiff), spanking Edith, the little girl heroine (a felt Lency doll) who plays grown-up in a lonely parental-figure-free manse. Along with Little Bear (a Steiff creation), the two play dress-up and smear makeup on each other and get into seemingly innocent trouble (however menacing it all feels).

The daughter of a well-known, single-mom artist, Dare Wright staged scenes for the book, propping up her three characters in various indoor and outdoor scenes. There is rain, and mirror writing in lipstick. It’s all very unsettling and even sad, but not so much as the tale of the author, chronicled so wonderfully in Jean Nathan’s “The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll: The Search for Dare Wright.” Find the book on Amazon or eBay, and you’ll discover why.  For more about the visit darewright.com

Since 2005, there’s been rumors that Killer Films was going to make a ‘50s-set film of Wright’s life, to be directed by the perfect match of Julian Schnabel, who reportedly owns the rights. We can only hope and wait to see if the making of one of the greatest illustrated children’s books of all time—and the life-story one of the most alluringly mysterious authors—makes it to the silver screen.

Meantime, here’s a photo gallery to pique your interest. For more info on the exhibit go to: fredtorres.com. The gallery is located at 527 W. 29th St.

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