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Terre glaise 13,5 x 11 cm

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1909 – 1992

Orphan from the age of eight years, Morton Bartlett is adopted by a family native of Massachusetts. He first goes to the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy and then undertakes studies at the University of Havard, which he interrupts two years later to occupy himself with diverse occupations. Without any artistic training, he dashes into sculpture and photography in 1936. He begins creating especially dolls in plaster, for whom he conceives a real wardrobe. Most of the caracters are feminine, from six to sixteen years old. He imagines different scenarios inspired by the everyday life and photographs them so as to form an album of family photos. To get the bodies of his dolls as near to human anatomy as possible, Morton gets inspiration from images looked up in books. The quest of perfection takes him one whole year to realize one doll. It is only after his death that one discovers his work; which consists of about ten figurines, some 200 photographic pictures and about ten polychromatic slides, discovered by the collector Marion Harris.

Morton Bartlett’s work is kept at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, as well as in the Collection of the Naive art in Lausanne.