Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

matryoshka (nesting dolls)
  • Russia
  • matryoshka (nesting dolls), mid 1900s
  • Where object was made: Soviet Union (present-day Russia)
  • wood, paint, carving
  • Object Height/Diameter: .01.a,b) 8 x 4 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: .01.a,b) 3 1/8 x 1 9/16 in
    Object Height/Diameter: .03) 4 x 2 cm
    Object Height/Diameter: .03) 1 9/16 x 3/4 in
  • Gift of Carol Chavez
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2541.01-3

The set of three nesting dolls depicts a woman in Russian attire.

The large doll (2007.2541.01.a,b) is mostly light colored wood, with a purple head scarf and blond hair over her forehead. She has large black eyes and small facial features. Her arms are depicted at her sides, and her front is covered with large red flowers and green leaves.

The medium doll (2007.2541.02.a,b) is wearing a red head scarf and purple dress. There are no arms are depicted, but she appears to be wearing an apron with red flowers and green leaves. Her face has large black eyes, but there are few remaining facial features.

The smallest doll (2007.2541.03) is light colored wood. There is a black circle around the face, indicating a head scarf, though it is not painted. The face itself is two black dots for eyes and a red dot for a mouth. The body appears to have faded red flowers painted on the front. There is a thin black line to separate the "top" from the "bottom" but the doll doesn't actually come apart.