A Helping Hand – Donating to the World of Marwencol
Last week we wrote a post on the magnificent doll-aided world of Mark Hogancamp, the town of Marwencol as captured in the complex and movie of that name. In Twitter #dollchat and in emails those of us that saw the film could not help but be moved, and the fact that he was an artist local to Kingston New York where Tonner Doll has been for 25 years made us all think that this is a person would we could reach out and touch, personally.
You will not know completely what Mark does with his dolls unless you watch the film (which is available on Netflix streaming), but it is enough to say that with great imagination and pathos he has built a parallel world in which he acts out his own rehabilitation and freedom in a way that only art and play seem able to bring. Living on the limited funds of a disability check – having been brutally attacked years ago outside of a bar and suffering among other things permanent loss of memory – he brings his doll world to life for others through his careful photography of its events.
Several of us in chat and elsewhere have come together to organize a donation drive so that Mark can have even more materials from which to create is remarkable 1/6 scale town. The most active of collectors in this has been Terri Gold of Collecting Fashion Dolls by Terri Gold who has been kind enough to volunteer to receive, catalog and then deliver the care package. Our Tonner Doll Company store in Kingston will be the nexus point between our package and Mark.
Two Weeks of Giving – Helping Imagination and Art
So, for the next two weeks – mailed up until Saturday April 21 – Terri Gold will be receiving and organize any donation you might like to make to Mark’s world. We hope to be covering the donation process on this blog and on Terri’s – as well as other doll blogs. We hope also to get updates and photos of what becomes of our donations. One of the things that struck me when watching Marwencol was how much the doll collecting community is a natural support system and audience for what Mark is doing. Sending a doll or some doll clothes or furniture or even tools is a way to concretely make an impact on Mark’s world.
So What Can I Give?
Terri came up with a fantastic list of possible donations for Mark and we also asked Mark what he would like. Between the two we produced a master list, out of which one of the few negatives was “no Barbies”. Remember, Mark’s world is 1/6 scale. Some links are included in case you are not familiar with the figures or companies:
12” Fully Articulated “GI Joe type” 1/6 scale dolls
12” Female fully articulated dolls & clothes for these dolls:
—Cy Girls by Blue Box International (BBI) ebay results for cy girls
—ZC Girl, TTL (True to Life) Girls,
—DML (Dragon Models Limited) Females
(No Barbies, please!)
Militaria in 1/6 scale (Helmets, weapons, mines, walkie talkies, canteen bag, gas mask, dog tags, maps, combat boots, tent. There are thousands of inexpensive items in this scale. some ebay results
Furniture…anything one would find in a military setting or a WWII village.
Props such as Barbie scale appliances (fan, radio, washer/dryer, toilet, fridge, etc.)
Horses and other farm animals.
Vehicles.: jeeps, motorcycles, bicycles and parts thereof.
Wood, wire, mini tubing, cork, twine
Hobby paint brushes and paint.
Sketch books and media (pencils, charcoal, etc.)
Small circuit boards for the time machine.
“Gorilla” Glue (strong glue.)
Terri’s note: Please remember that scale is important. We are looking for 1/6 scale to fit in with Marwencol. Figures are 12”. If you are looking on eBay be careful to verify the scale/size before you purchase anything. There are several different sized GI Joe dolls and accessories. Some sellers think you will know the scale and don’t include the info in their listings.
There is a lot of stuff you can find at flea markets, yard sales and possibly in your own home that will be useful. I found many inexpensive clothing items on eBay for the Cy Girls.
Finally, watching Marwencol is the best way to see what Mark uses and might want more of. His small list of desires is incorporated into the list above.
Where Do I Send It?
Items should be mailed to Terri at:
c/o Terri Gold
1748 Glasco Turnpike
Woodstock, NY 12498
Donors should make sure that their full name in included inside the package. If they wish to remain anonymous, they should include that information. They should include an email address to which Terri will send confirmation of receipt of the donation.
If you have a question about something you wish to donate that’s not on or implied by the list, you can contact Terri Gold at email@example.com or me, Kevin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to thank Terri for her generous response and help in making the idea of donating to Mark a reality. And also all of those who have been discussing Marwencol on #dollchat and in private. The movie is very stirring and raises all kinds of questions about the power of art and play. If you have not seen the film I urge you to find it and give a viewing. Everyone from repaint artists to collectors have told me that they would love to give something to Mark. It is great to see a film and then realize that you can reach out and touch that life and creativity. We’ll keep you posted on developments so that even if you do not wish to, or can’t donate the story will live. In fact, I am wondering if we could post updates on the events in Marwencol here on our blog…