Edith Flack Ackley Wengenroth was a cloth doll maker, designer and author. She was born in Greenport, Long Island New York on June 6, 1887. She was trained as a painter but is best known for her Marionettes and cloth dolls.
1958 Edition of Dolls To Make
Her first book, Marionettes: Easy to Make! Fun to Use! was published in 1929 and illustrated by her sister Majorie Flack.
Other titles include, Paper Dolls: Their History and How to Make Them, Holiday Cards for You to Make, How to Make Marionettes for Fun at Home, Plays at Schools and Clubs and Professional Performances, A Doll Shop of Your Own and Dolls to Make for Fun and Profit, illustrated by her daughter, Teckla Ackley.
In 1936 she married Stow Wengenroth, a lithographer whose prints of the New England coast were highly sought after. He was one of a few artists of his time who was able to make a living from his art.
Edith greatly influenced Wengenroth's work and they traveled extensively throughout Maine and New England during the summer months.
Edith was a well-known artist in her own right. She took great pride in her work and encouraged others to make dolls as well. She shared her patterns and her doll making skills through her books and kits.
A doll kit she designed and sold consisted of a doll pattern stamped on unbleached muslin along with instructions for making the doll and patterns for the doll's clothing. The doll was finished with yarn hair and embroidered features. The kit was offered through the Woman's Home Companion, a popular magazine of the day.
Edith Flack Ackley Wengenroth died on November 28, 1970. Her husband died a few years later in 1978.
Today, the dolls of Edith Flack Ackley live on through her illustrated books and talented modern fiber artists and cloth dollmakers. Books written by Edith Flack Ackley and dolls made by her and from her patterns are highly collectible.