Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (aka Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald)
Gretel (Paper Doll)
North America, American, Alabama
12 in. x 4 in. (30.48 cm x 10.16 cm)
Medium and Support:
Watercolor and graphite on academy board
Gift of Mrs. Frances Fitzgerald Smith
Over the years, Zelda Fitzgerald painted a significant number of paper dolls and costumes, the first of them for her daughter, Scottie (Frances Fitzgerald) in the 1920s. These early paper dolls were apparently made specifically as play things for her child. The seven dolls and their costumes in the Museum collection, however, most likely date from very late in her life, and perhaps after Scottie's marriage in 1943.
The paperdolls of the 1940s reveal both the artist's distinctive style, as well as her craftsmanship. The works are both whimsical, as well as creative. Two of the dolls in the Museum's collection depict figures fairy tale characters, Hansel and Gretel, with a theatrical flair. The figures themselves are carefully conceived, drawn in pencil, and then washed with watercolor and gouache. All are reminescent of the muscular, but graceful figures she painted in her oils recalling her ties to the ballet and stage design.