Family Heritage House Museum at SCF, Manatee-Sarasota to Unveil Rare Doll Collection

(Bradenton, Fla., Aug. 18, 2016) —  The family of a woman who grew up in Palmetto has donated her collection of Daddy’s Long Legs dolls to the Family Heritage House Museum at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF). The complete collection, which will be unveiled at the museum on Sept. 10, includes more than 140 dolls in pristine condition.

The American-made dolls were introduced in 1990. Karen Germany, the designer and an owner of KVK, Inc., created the collection of Daddy’s Long Legs dolls, which are sculpted in clay and then reproduced in wood resin and handpainted. Germany also started a collector’s club to help keep the dolls in limited editions. Her expressive dolls, depict family life. One of her first dolls was Nettie, an African-American doll that proved to be her most popular character, inspired additional members of her predominantly black family of dolls. Because of the dolls’ long and floppy legs they are seated or propped up on stands.

Latha Matthews Hall Draeger began collecting the dolls because she said they reminded her of her childhood in Palmetto. Draeger’s father was a foreman in citrus groves around Manatee County, and she often went with him to work and played with other children in the groves, most of whom were black.

She began collecting the dolls in the 1990s and even visited KVK in Southlake, Texas. After Draeger died this year, her family contacted the Family Heritage House Museum to donate the entire collection. All of the dolls were in their original boxes, which also contained the doll descriptions and Certificates of Authenticity.

The exhibit unveiling will be 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Family Heritage House Museum, 5840 26th Street W.  The museum is free and open to the public. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Additional times are available by appointment. For information visit or contact Kathie Marsh, museum specialist, at or 941-752-5319.

Daddys Long Legs Dolls

The wedding

Page Edit