Playing with paper – paper dolls collected by three generations

The Postal Museum’s Playing with paper small exhibition features paper dolls of three generations, from the 1940s until the 1990s, from the collection of Iris Virtanen, who lives in Kaarina.

Finnish magazines started publishing sheets of paper dolls in the 1930s. With the developments in offset printing technologies in the 1950s, many women’s and children’s magazines offered paper dolls to their young readers.

This collection started as a hobby of Iris Virtanen’s mother, Sirkka Lundgren (1927–2008), who was into drawing and making paper dolls. Lundgren’s daughter Iris was born in 1954, and her mother’s enthusiasm for drawing and paper dolls continued as Iris was given paper dolls to play with.

Iris Virtanen gave the paper dolls collected and drawn between the 1940s and 1970s to her own daughters, Henna-Riina (b. 1979) and Helena (b. 1981), who drew and collected new paper dolls and continued to play with them in the 1980s and 1990s.