A gift that demonstrates and celebrates the diversity of dress around the world has been donated to NDSU’s Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection.
Ethnic dolls sculpted by Wisconsin artist Joan M. Beringer Pripps, who died in 2005, were donated by Luise Beringer. She gave the dolls in memory of her husband, Richard E. Beringer, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Dakota from 1970-1999, who died in 2020.
The artist, Joan Beringer, and Richard E. Beringer were cousins.
“The Beringer Pripps doll collection is unique because the creator of dolls is usually unknown,” said Ann Braaten, curator of the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection. “These dolls provide evidence of an artist’s body of work and decisions she made when sculpting and dressing human forms to represent the ethnic groups depicted.”
Beringer Pripps studied at the Milwaukee Art Institute and Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, establishing herself as a successful portrait painter. She also was a doll maker, landscape and still life painter, potter and illustrator. She began creating dolls depicting historic and ethnic figures in 1931 when she was 17 and continued throughout her life.
A selection of Beringer Pripps ethnic dolls is on display in the Around the World Doll Collection display window on the second floor of Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall. The following groups are represented: Padaung (Kayan) mother and daughter of Myanmar and Thailand; Afar women from the Horn of Africa; Korean women of east Asia; Amish woman and children from U.S.; and a Karagouni woman from Thessaly in Greece.
In October 1947, Beringer created doll figurines of prominent Wisconsin women as a way to celebrate the Wisconsin State Centennial in 1948. She made 70 of the dolls to illustrate her presentation, some of which are now part of the Wisconsin Historical Museum collection.
The Beringer Pripps dolls will be on display through April 2022.
Heather Fuller, associate professor of human development and family science, along with Jane Strommen, Extension gerontology specialist, presented a virtual program Sept. 16 for AARP North Dakota.
The presentation, “Solo Seniors,” was intended especially for LGBT attendees and the Red River Rainbow Seniors.
“This group brought the idea to our attention, seeking more information and support on how those who are aging as singles, sometimes referred to as ‘elder orphans,’ can find connections and manage in their later years,” said Doreen Riedman, AARP North Dakota associate state director for community outreach. “Heather and Jane have been so helpful as resources to us at AARP North Dakota, and as presenters on numerous occasions. We are so fortunate to have their knowledge and expertise here in the state as we help people live their best lives as they age.”
Fuller joined the NDSU faculty in 2009. Her research interests include such topics as social relationships across the lifespan, successful aging and health promotion, and aging in rural and cross-cultural contexts. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota, master’s degree and doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Michigan.
Strommen joined NDSU’s faculty in 2010. She earned her doctorate in human development - gerontology at NDSU.