First lady Glenna Bevin talks about her Capitol doll
“A lovely job” is how Kentucky first lady Glenn Bevin described a miniature doll of her that was finally installed Monday in a popular tourist display in the Capitol.
She even joked with reporters about the difficulties of getting the doll, clothed in a facsimile of her inaugural gown, prepared for the Capitol. Unlike many first ladies, she purchased her gown off the rack, which meant there was no extra cloth for a doll’s dress.
Asked about her purchase, Bevin said with a smile, “I didn’t know that was a faux pas, so sorry.”
She immediately added: “I got my Derby dress off of eBay.”
Bevin went on to say the work of the group that prepared the doll is “magic.”
“They can do anything,” she said.
She was speaking of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Kentucky, which sponsors the doll display on the first floor of the Capitol. It includes dolls of every first lady back to Susannah Hart Shelby, the wife of Kentucky’s first governor, Isaac Shelby.
The 18-inch, French-fashion dolls are adorned in fabric matching the first lady’s Inaugural Ball gown.
Usually the doll of a new Kentucky first lady is placed in the glass-enclosed public display within a few months after the election but the Bevin doll encountered problems and took 15 months to make it to the Capitol.
In addition to the fabric issue, the doll’s arm and fingers were broken when it was dropped.
It was time-consuming to find the proper compound to match the color of the doll for the new mold, but it finally was found in Mexico. Doll maker Pheobe McCoy of Catlettsburg eventually got it all together.
Helen Evans of Lexington, who started the doll display in 1971 when she was president of the women’s group, relayed to Bevin the history of some of the dolls.
Bevin said her husband, Gov. Matt Bevin, has not yet seen the doll and that she plans to bring her daughters for a view.