Dare Wright was a model and later a photographer for magazines, including Good Housekeeping and Vogue. She was raised by her mother, who was quite a successful portrait painter.
In the late 50s she released her first children's book The Lonely Doll, about a doll who is adopted by a family of bears and the adventures they have together. The series were very successful, appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. However, they later faded away and for a long time they were out of print. Over the past few years her books have been reissued (you can see her official web site for more information, linked at the end of this post).
In total, Dare Wright released 18 children's books, not all about the Lonely Doll. Sometimes she used herself as a model, and these images of her are a bit reminiscent of Cindy Sherman's earlier work (although this was before Cindy Sherman's career had begun). Her shots are elaborate and carefully staged.
The Lonely Doll books are illustrated with photographic tableaux, which was a very unusual style at the time and seemed to make a very strong impression on the children who read them. Adult fans who grew up with her are quite fierce in their devotion. Seeing images of a world where dolls were alive, and seeing the realized work of an adult who enjoyed playing with dolls, too, made a very strong impression on them.