Little did R. John Wright suspect when he made his first doll in November, 1976 that he would be celebrating doll making and friendship 45 years later with so many still enthusiastic and dedicated RJW collectors. The just completed R. John Wright 2021 Convention “Treasures In The Attic” was hosted at the Crowne Plaza Albany – Desmond Hotel November 4-6. It was a tremendous success that was enjoyed by all who were able to attend.
The weekend got off to a great start with luxury coach transportation to Bennington, VT, where guests were invited to partake of a delicious luncheon while enjoying the view of the rolling hillsides surrounding the Mount Anthony Country Club. Winning of door prizes from the Bennington Museum, Bennington Potters, and Green Angel Arts of Huntington, VT was an exciting event. The high point, however was when guests received the optional opening event souvenir doll “Little Miss Vermont”.
The fun continued with tours of the R. John Wright Dolls, work shop & studio, where the various operations of creating RJW products could be experienced firsthand. Self tours were encouraged throughout the facility with attendees asking many astute questions. Many never before offered RJW items were available for purchase in our show room. Tours of The Bennington Museum and The Bennington Doll Museum were part of the itinerary. Many thanks to the bus drivers of Cramden Coach who made sure everyone was able to visit all destinations and arrive safely back at the Desmond Hotel.
At the Desmond Hotel over the next 2 days, guests enjoyed special programs, exhibits, and events all with a "Treasures in The Attic" theme. The salesroom offered never-before-marketed items such as authentic R. John Wright accessories and materials. There was an excellent program on The Shelburne Museum in Northern Vermont with an emphasis on their doll and toy collections. The Special Exhibit “Toys In The Attic” was on the third floor of the Desmond Hotel and styled like an attic. Vintage furnishings set off items from R. John Wright’s toy collection. An opening gala champagne & dessert reception was enjoyed by all. A special high tea “Let’s Play Dress Up” encouraged attendees to “dress up” in something from their attics. The costume competition was lively as all vied for prizes in several categories!
Breakout ticketed meal events centered around the “Treasures In The Attic” theme. Each of these events featured themed decoration, door prizes, table favors and games. Gifts from table hostesses added to the festivities. A number of new RJW pieces were introduced for order at the various events. For the creatively-inclined there were two extended workshops instructed by Gail Wilson.
The whimsical final banquet “Marcella & Raggedy Ann’s Attic Adventure” concluded with the presentation of the convention souvenir doll. A lovely 11” rendition of Marcella holding a diminutive 3” Raggedy Ann! Enjoy all the exciting photos from this truly memorable convention.
Photography courtesy of Greg Nesbit Photography
Cards created by Aurora of Green Angel Arts in Huntington, VT.
Nancy Lazenby and Ann Leonard enjoy luncheon decorations.
Kevin Durham enjoys a story with companions.
Ross Venett shares conversation with his companions.
Seasonal turkey cranberry mixed green salad.
Caroline Nicholson and Patricia Jones share a laugh around the table.
Amy Cannistraci listens to the table conversation.
Door prizes donated by Green Angel Arts, Bennington Potters, and Bennington Museum.
Patricia Jones receives a door prize.
Susan Wright makes announcements.
Little Miss Vermont souvenirs awaiting distribution to their new owners.
Little Miss Vermont being unboxed.
Paula Caire is very happy with Little Miss Vermont.
A crowd of attendees explores the workshop at R John Wright Dolls.
Attendees visit the wigging and painting stations.
Directions and supplies for basket weaving.
A demonstration of basket weaving in progress.
The studio awaits visitors.
Susan discusses John's collection in his office.
Attendees make purchases in the R John Wright factory store.
Table ready for guests.
Center pieces are representative of items made from 2016 to 2021.
Friends gather together again.
Barbara Stone and Loretta Nardone two past UFDC presidents join Susan Wright and Emily Wright and other guests.
Excited reaction to winner of door prize.
Edith Battles presents door prize to lucky winner Barbara Stone.
Guests view debut piece 'Heinzel' inspired by illustrations of Ida Bohatta.
A selection of deserts and champagne presented at the opening of the R John Wright Sales Room & Special Exhibit.
One very happy attendee. R John Wright's granddaughter Penelope.
Everyone had fun playing the custom Mice in the Attic game.
Attendees process through the steps of making a doll's trunk.
Instructor Gail Wilson helps attendees through the steps.
Display of Gail Wilson's finished products.
Classic English High Tea.
Winners of best dress up costume awards, Andrea Balliette & Maryetta Dorricott
Edith Battles taking a step in Mother's high heels.
Everyone enjoys their tea in finery.
Three storied elegant town house by doll house designer Jackie Marro.
Jackie Marro describing the centerpiece dollhouses that she created.
A regency dollhouse design by Jackie Marro.
Special Exhibit 'Toys in the Attic' displayed on the third floor Desmond Hotel 'Attic'.
Attic vignettes featuring toy collection of R John Wright.
Vintage furniture curtesy of Desmond Hotel warehouse.
Masculine inspired Brownie display.
Holiday attic toys.
Dolls collected by R John Wright's Aunt in the 1950's.
Madam Alexander 'Little Women' dolls from the book by Louisa May Alcott.
Vintage Steiff and Kruse dolls with hand-carved wooden cobbler doll and Brownie candlesticks.
A trio of Italian felt Lenci dolls.
The Wright granddaughters check out the vintage typewriter with a guest.
Steiff and other vintage German toys.
Silent Auction items curated from the R John Wright Archives.
Dollhouse 'Twelve Oaks' from 'Gone with the Wind' created by Jacki Marro.
'Gone with the Wind' Mice by R John Wright displayed with dollhouse.
Attendees set their sights on their favorite auction piece.
Dealer booth of Margaret Kincaid's Blackberry Antiques.
UFDC (United Federation of Doll Clubs) information booth.
Display of R John Wright vintage pieces.
Dealer booth for Constance Blain Antiques.
Terry & Kathy Dolls dealer booth.
Past UFDC presidents Loretta Nardone and Barbara Stone man booth.
Excited attendees are allowed into the Sales Room.
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Constance Blain Antiques completes a purchase.
Get it, Donna! You know you want it.
Granddaughter Edith Battles can hardly wait for the Bonzo Luncheon to begin.
Susan Wright and Margaret Kincaid enjoy pre-diner cocktails.
R John Wright staff having a well deserved good time.
Pamela Simpers and Grace Santos enjoying the hors d'oeuvres.
John and Donna Sypniewski glad to see each other again.
John with first R John Wright Convention Chair Nancy Lazenby.
John and Susan with guests.
Happy group enjoys the pre-diner cocktails.
R John Wright daughter Emily with granddaughters Penelope and Edith.
Time for diner!
Table set for final banquet.
Menu including filet mignon and stuffed sole.
John, Emily, and Susan.
All dressed up for the Final Banquet.
John and Caroline Nicholson.
John gives a few words of welcome.
Pat Jones and Caroline Nicholson sit at the head table with John, Susan, Nancy Lazenby and other guests.
John enjoys a story from a guest.
Special program 'Raggedy Ann the Magical Hour' by Laurie McGill.
Now for dessert!
Loretta Nardone is thrilled with her Marcella and Raggedy Ann.
Paula Caire shows off her new doll.
Patricia Jones, another happy collector.
John signs dolls for new and old friends.
One lucky collector gets Susan's rare signature.
Together again, until next time.
November 16, 2021
April 07, 2021