I've read a couple of posts from John Port that indicate his mom is with him these days. Most of you probably have heard of Beverly Port. In my opinion, she practically started the whole artist bear movement herself . . . a true pioneer in the industry we have all come to know and love. Correct me, John, if I don't remember the details accurately, but Beverly was making dolls back in the 1970s and wanted a little accessory to put with them. A teddy bear seemed to be just the right one, so she created them to go with her dolls. The bears turned out to be as popular (or more so) as the dolls, and the rest is history. The whole Port family became involved with artist teddies - John's dad sold them at his pharmacy and both John and his sister, Kimberlee, became bear artists themselves. Beverly's imagination, talent, and hard work certainly were huge factors in jump-starting the popularity of individually designed, handmade teddy bears. John, if your mom is close by, please tell her how much I've admired her spirit and her work for many years. Hugs to you both. :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:
What a great idea to post this message about Beverly Port .
I will admit though that I hadn't heard about her until July of this year, when her son John Paul, posted the following reply on a question about the origins of the term "hug of teddies". I answered that I thought the term was first used by the famous teddy bear promotor Peter Bull and John Paul wrote :
"In 1978 my Mom received a gift from Peter Bull----it was a revised copy of his first (1969) book, "Bear With Me." Since it had a lot of new material and pictures, it was re-copyrighted and renamed "Peter Bull's Book of Teddy Bears." The dust jacket of the book shows Peter Bull with himself as a Teddy Bear, holding a tiny bear. Also enclosed, an invitation to visit him and to attend the first "Great Teddy Bear Rally" to be held at Longleat, England on May 27th 1979, at the home of the Marquis of Bath. In their conversations about Teddy Bears, it was generally agreed that a "Hug Of Teddy Bears" was "as many as you could get your arms around"---"or in a big room"----"or in an apartment"---"or in a house"----or, or, or, or, or......................................"
So she must definitively be one of the pioneers of "arctophilia". If John Paul is reading this, I would love to hear some more stories about your mother and the Marquis of Bath (another famous teddy lover) and the early days of bear loving collectors.
A very special hug and congratulations to Beverly for supporting the teddy bear cause !! :clap: :clap: :clap:
A big Thank You to Sue Ann----and everyone who has posted !!! Yes, my Mom actually began the "Art of The Teddy Bear" in the 1950s to 1960s----alone in calling them "art" at that time. She was given a book about Peter Bull, for Christmas 1969, with the comment: "Here is someone like you, who is 'CRAZY' about teddy bears!" She started writing about them in the 1970s, for National and International magazines, Convention books and Slide programs. When interviewed, she termed herself a "Teddy Bear Artist"---after all she was an artist. A multi-media artist: drawing, painting, sculpting, fashion and fabric design, etc., since college----and an International "doll artist." :hug: :hug: :hug: from Mom-----and me !!! JOHN
I WILL BE AT THE TEDDY, BEAR AND TOY SALE----AT MY SALES BOOTH----AT THE SAN FRANCISCO MARRIOTT ON SUNDAY, SEPT, 26----TO ANSWER THOSE WHO HAVE PHONED AND EMAILED ME----I CAN "TALK TEDDY BEARS," AND ABOUT MY MOM, ( BEVERLY PORT ). I AM GIVING A MAIN PROGRAM ABOUT BOTH DURING THE CONVENTION, AND HAVE AN ARTICLE IN THE CONVENTION BOOK. THIS IS A UNITED FEDERATION OF DOLL CLUBS EVENT----THEY HAVE HUNDREDS OF CLUBS, INTERNATIONALLY----AND THOUSANDS OF MEMBERS !!!! THIS IS ONE OF THE PLACES SHE GAVE A PROGRAM IN 1976, AND ALSO HAD AN ARTICLE IN THE CONVENTION BOOK, TOO----33 YEARS AGO !!!! SHE WAS ALSO "GUEST EDITOR" FOR THEIR INTERNATIONAL "DOLL NEWS MAGAZINE" IN 1976---"TEDDY BEARS" WAS THE THEME. AND THEODORE B. BEAR, PETER BULL'S FRIEND, WAS ONE OF THE WRITERS FOR IT.
I'd love to hear your talk next Sunday, but San Francisco might as well be on the other side of the planet. I know all will go well for you at the convention. Your mom has been involved in so many interesting activities over the years, and I'm really pleased that you are continuing to inform doll and bear aficionados about her important contributions to the industries.
Hi John!! Hi Beverly!!
John, it was so good to catch up with you in Portland. I have a picture.....just need to post it.... Thank you again for your kind gift to our little Macey.
Schuco bear has gathered some friends along the way. He's still my favorite.....and has such a lovely story to tell. You are forever in our hearts!
Warmest bear hugs, :hug:
A Big Thankyou to you both!!! What a wonderful difference your mum has made to this world of ours...not many people can say they have helped to put the arts and artists out into peoples homes and bring all that warmth into our lives.......a special person indeed is your MUM!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :hug: