Director Biography

Barbara Whiteman
Founder and Executive Director, Philadelphia Doll Museum

Barbara A. Whiteman is an enthusiastic Black doll collector whose unique collection developed from a love of studying Black history and culture. She believes the searching, preserving researching and publicat8ion of Black dolls is an essential part of Black history. Barbara has traveled across the nation lecturing on the history of Black dolls. Her collection of more than 300 Black dolls is named “Dark Images” and has been presented to many organizations, schools and art institutions.

This collection serves as the foundation for the Philadelphia Doll Museum which has been its beginning in her residence.

A graduate of Temple University, Barbara worked as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center located in the University City section of Philadelphia. She and her husband, Sinclair, share in the joy of Black doll collecting.

Founders Statement

“More than play objects or toys, these Black dolls symbolize the struggle for freedom and human dignity. Each doll has a message of truth and strength that is important to the psychological and sociological development of Black people. Collectively, they present visual images of how Black people were perceived throughout world history.”

The Philadelphia Doll Museum
2253 North Broad Street
Philadelphia PA 19132
  Phone: (215) 787 - 0220
Fax: (215) 787 - 0226