Southern Elegance 

                      Reflections of the South

American Heritage Dolls 

by JoAnn Bernard

A Southern Belle


written by JoAnn Bernard

Ante-bellum Louisiana, a time of majestic plantation homes, serene paddle wheelers floating down the Mississippi, and Mint-Julep on the verandah. A time when men were enchanted by fragile young ladies, known as "Southern Belles".

The dazzling beauties attended the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans. Once the school year began the long separation from family and friends became torturous for both the family and the Belles. The lengthy school year made the Belles even more appealing to the Southern Gents when the six-week summer vacation finally arrived.

Once the girls arrived home they were greeted by their loving family who made every effort to make their summer vacation the most memorable and enjoyable of their lives. Mornings began with horseback rides from plantation to plantation. Gala parties were given every evening. The girls were filled with the excitement of dressing in beautiful gowns, and the thoughts of the Southern Gents flirtations. At summers' end the lengthy school separation came upon the Belles and their families, and once again, the anticipation will begin for the next frivolous fun filled summer.

    JoAnn Bernard is a self-taught artist.  Born JoAnn Gonzales on the bayou of Delacroix Island, Louisiana, with an Islenos heritage that stems back to Spain's Canary Islands.  Her love of the beautiful State of Louisiana has inspired the Days of Old Collection, a line of Louisiana heritage character dolls.  Through research, she has reproduced Louisiana ancestry; African American, Cajun, Islenos and others in life-like forms as they were seen years ago.  JoAnn has created a complete original collection.  She sculpts the original pieces and reproduces them in plaster molds.  The face of each character is hand-painted, dressed (clothing and jewelry may vary) and positioned on handcrafted wooden pedestals and chairs to recreate photographs and sketches of the 1800's.  The body designs are unique in construction and design.  All wigs are hand-made by the artist using mohair strands.  The artist developed original clothing designs and patterns.  Props were designed and created for each individual character doll.  All clay pieces are limited editions of 500 and are numbered and signed by the artist.  Booklets and display cards are also designed by Jo Ann to include the number of the piece and a short story about the character doll.   Booklets are attached to the piece, and the display card can be framed to stand along side the piece.  Character dolls range in height from 16 to 18 inches tall.  Total height of the piece may vary depending upon position of character dolls.  A numbered and signed Certificate of Authenticity is provided with each character doll.

ŠJo Ann Bernard

Attached booklets contain above information

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Louisiana Heritage Dolls by JoAnn Bernard

Louisiana Heritage Dolls

Click here to visit The State of Louisiana Crafts Program

Visit the Louisiana State Crafts Program

Louisiana Heritage Doll Collection 

by JoAnn Bernard

An original clay doll collection, for the doll collecting enthusiast

Learn about Louisiana Culture through this American Heritage Doll collection inspired by sketches, photographs and stories of the 1800's.

Display card and Booklets printed on aged parchment paper  

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African American Heritage Dolls by JoAnn Bernard

African American Heritage Dolls

Figurines by JoAnn Bernard

Figurines, Sculptured Slates and Inspirational Sketches

Oil Paintings by JoAnn Bernard

Oil Paintings

Duck Carvings by JoAnn Bernard

Duck Carving

Read about JoAnn's Doll Making & Biography

Doll Making Techniques/Bio

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Display card printed on aged parchment paper