Robert H. Archer, 74, died on Monday, February 22, 2016. He was a native of Nansemond County, but lived all over the country. He was pre-deceased by his parents, R.H. and Kitty Archer.
Mr. Archer is survived by his sister, Catherine Archer Alexander and brother-in-law W. Everett Alexander; nephews, Rett Alexander and wife, Tiffany, Vaughan Alexander and wife, Doan, Ryan Alexander and wife Stephanie; great nephews, Tyler, Slade and Dax; great nieces, Madison, Sidney, Reese and Peyton; special friends, Dr. William Paquette, Gae Ward, Ann Wuest, Matthew Bernier, and special angel Linda Presson Rawlinson who was always there when needed. The family would like to thank all those who were so helpful to "Bobby", especially at the end.
Mr. Archer was a costume designer and pattern-maker acquiring his skill at the University of Richmond, the Traphagen School of Fashion Design, New York City, and he was a graduate of Ringling School of Art, Sarasota FL, majoring in Fashion Design.
Mr. Archer has designed fabrics; has served as both designer and costume master for ballet and theatrical companies; designed and constructed couture clothing and wedding gowns; and designed ballroom dance competition costumes. His work in miniatures was highlighted in authentic period costumes – ethnic, fantasy and modern adaptations using exquisite fabrics, trims, beadwork, and accessories.
Active in a number of doll and miniature organizations, he received "ARTISAN" status in the International Guild of Miniature Artisans in March 1991. His individualized figures for the consummate collector have been featured in DOLLS IN MINIATURE, DOLLS, DOLL READER, NUTSHELL NEWS, and MINIATURE COLLECTOR. He has authored articles for most of these magazines.
He has served on the Board of Directors, as First Vice-President, and President for two terms of the International Doll Makers Association. He was a founding member of the Tidewater Doll Club of Virginia and the Doll Study Club of Tidewater. He was also a member of the Jane Coleman Doll Study Club and former member of the Norfolk Doll Club and the Blue Bonnet Bebes of Houston, TX. All clubs are part of the United Federation of Doll Clubs. He has served as Regional Director for Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. of UFDC and on a national level Parliamentarian.
He has conducted workshops nationally, taught adult seminars at the college level and has been a judge in international competition. He has also been a consultant for a number of doll related firms with designs and patterns.
This award winning artist has his work in a number of museums and private collections around the world. In 2002 FASHION DOLL WARDROBE, A COLLECTION OF DESIGNS AND PATTERNS, authored by Archer, was published by Portfolio Press. This boxed book set contains forty-five designs and patterns from period to contemporary styles.
Proud of his American Indian heritage, he served as an adult advisor to an Explorer Post devoted to Indian lore. He has danced with the Young Elk Singers and Dancers on the powwow circuit and taught mens' traditional dance to young men and adults.
An amateur genealogist, he has traced all four sides of his family back to the early colony of Virginia. This research has led to membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Tom Smith Camp #1702 and the restoration of the Archer family cemetery. He was a regular contributor to THE HERITAGE and other Civil War publications. He also taught Civil War era dance classes and made period clothing for re-enactors. He was very proud to be on the Board of Riddick's Folly Museum, working with volunteers and guides.