University of Texas at Austin

Geddes's doll house for Joan
Ca. 1920s
Mixed media

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Norman Bel Geddes Database

Job 1, Doll House for Joan, 1920s

Summary: In 1921, Bel Geddes designed a brownstone doll house as Christmas gift for his daughter Joan, born 2 December 1916. The rectangular two-story doll house is made chiefly of painted wood. Throughout the home, rooms are accented with wood, metal, and enamel furnishings. Moving from front to back, the rooms are laid out as follows. The first floor has an entry room that connects to the second floor with a staircase, followed by a center room and a back room. The second floor has a front room with tall windows, a center room, and a bathroom in the back.

Architecturally, the front of the house and the roof are realized in the most detail. A stoop leads up to the front door which is set off by twin ceramic planters. The flat roof has a parapet wall, two chimneys, and a pair of clotheslines.

The completed doll house was in the possession of the Geddes family until it was donated to the Ransom Center in 2001.

(click image for description)

Box/Location Folder Description
box 1 1.1 6 Sketches of plans, sections, elevations.
box 1 1.2 Letter received from Harry Barnhart, 1921.
object 1.1 Model of doll house (unhoused, 32 x 42 1/4 x 15 inches).
oversize box 27 1.1 Accoutrements for model of doll house.
oversize box 28 1.2 Accoutrements for model of doll house (continued).
oversize box 29 1.3 Accoutrements for model of doll house (continued).
oversize box 30 1.4 Accoutrements for model of doll house (continued).