I’ll admit it, I love American Girl. Seriously, I’m a 20-something that still pulls my doll out whenever I’m home (which is admittedly only a few times a year). I literally flipped out when I learned we were partnering with American Girl. I tried to play it cool, but really it was to no avail. Besides, now we have an awesome new American Girl themed Self-Guide that highlights many of the Girls and connects them with real museum objects, so why hide my enthusiasm?
Visitors (with or without their own American Girls in tow) can scour the museum looking for the objects that relate to, for example, Josefina Montoya. Visitors can see the serape on display in the Price of Freedom exhibition, something Josefina’s father might have worn. Josefina, her sisters, and Tia might have woven a serape that looked like this, along with the many blankets they wove to trade for sheep after a flash flood wiped out most of the family’s herd. Imagine patiently weaving such a complex pattern, or at least complex to me, and the pride you’d feel once it was completed!
Another highlighted object is a ship’s medicine chest, which connects well with the story of Marie-Grace Gardner and Cecile Rey, whose story takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana, during a yellow fever epidemic. Examining the chest in On the Water, families will see that medicine once looked very different than the familiar pill form we see today.
There is way more to discover so bring yourself, your doll, or your children and enjoy exploring!
Katie Macko is a Daily Programs Floor Manager at the National Museum of American History.
All American Girl images and content © American Girl. All rights reserved. All American Girl, Kit Kittredge, Julie Albright, Josefina Montoya, Addy Walker, Rebecca Rubin, Molly McIntire, Marie-Grace Gardner and Cécile Ray marks are trademarks of American Girl.