Skip to Main Content

The Margaret Bright Gallery of Class Dolls

Margaret Bright Doll Collection

Since 1936, the Meredith senior class has presented the Meredith College Alumnae Association with a doll on Class Day. Alumnae from classes before 1936 prepared dolls to complete the chronology. Early dolls were dressed in the styles of Class Day dresses, while more recent dolls wear the day-to-day fashions of their classes.

Early Meredith College Dolls

Beginning in 1937, the class dolls were displayed in Johnson Hall during commencement weekend. Margaret Bright, '07, was their first caretaker, returning every year until her death in 1969 to prepare the dolls for display. Dorothy Loftin Goodwin, '47, then carried on Miss Bright's work with the dolls. In 1972, the College dedicated the Margaret Bright Gallery of Class Dolls, located on the third floor of Johnson Hall's Bryan Rotunda. Dolls for each year from 1902 to the present are permanently displayed in walnut and glass cases. 

       1968 Meredith College Doll             Doll from 1891             Doll fro 1991

In 1991, to commemorate the centennial of the College's charter, a doll in the style of 1891 was prepared to stand beside the 1991 class doll.

Jo Ann Williford, '75, observed, "Each class adds its own unique chapter to this visual history of Meredith College."

-- page content by Martha Fonville.


For more on the Margaret Bright Doll Collection see the following articles:

Dolls Through the Decades by Cailyn Whitman, class of 2018

Beyond Fashion: The Story Behind Meredith College's Class Dolls by Lori D. R. Wiggins 

All material on Archives pages copyright Meredith College unless otherwise indicated.