Fantastic Characters

Myth, Art, and Story

   It was back in the 80’s, shortly after I moved to Rochester, that I first saw the Palmer Cox artifacts in Margaret Strong’s collection, upstairs in the Strong Museum. They live there still. And it was around that time  the gift store asked for a line of dolls based on the nineteenth century  brownie character.  As a doll maker for over 40 years, I had sought to make rag dolls of human and animal characters,  so I made  brownie dolls too, in all shapes and sizes and, as  Palmer Cox had done,  I dressed them in costumes of other lands. When I  learned about Palmer Cox and the myth behind the character,  I portrayed their looks and attitudes in cloth and then in chapter books for often, upon receipt of one of my dolls, a child would ask:”What is a brownie?”  In answer, I decided to write about them, and the stories came, one after another until there was a trilogy: The Gate between the Worlds. This web site is about Palmer Cox, the amazing creature upon which his character is based, and, from cartoon characters to Sherlock Holmes,  a scrap book of my other dolls.