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Paula Caprari, museum director, with some of the Madame Alexander Dolls at the Duchess Doll Museum in Pittston.

Members of the national Madame Alexander Doll Club recently traveled from far and wide to attend a luncheon hosted by Pittston’s Duchess Outlet, in support of its museum, the Duchess Doll Museum, which houses more than 1,000 rare dolls. The event included a luncheon at the Gramercy Restaurant, which featured a presentation of unique “pre-museum dolls,” raffles, games and door prizes. Then, club members moved to the Duchess Doll Museum, where guests were treated to a personal tour of the vast and well-curated collection, guided by the museum’s director Paula Caprari.

The museum is located in the historic Pittston Stove Building, just off of Main Street, which is now home to the Duchess Outlet, a family business operating since 1956 that features dolls, collectables, high-end children’s toys, and men’s and women’s outwear.

The luncheon and museum tour highlighted Caprari’s restoration work. She showcased vintage pieces and discussed the work that goes into preparing dolls for the museum and the types of decisions she makes to restore the old and often damaged dolls. She refrains from over-restoring the pieces to preserve their history and integrity and respect the personal story of each unique piece. Caprari personally restores all dolls that need attention. Most of the dolls in the Duchess Doll Museum are from Caprari’s personal collection, with others from generous donations.

Caprari said the event was a success, not only for the museum, but also for the city as it hosted this national event that impressed participants who remarked on the city’s art pieces and murals and its overall friendliness and charm. Caprari said the event would not be possible without the support of her husband, Paul, and her children.

For information, visit the Duchess Outlet website at https://duchessoutlet.com/.

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