Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne presents a first European solo show devoted to the American Art Brut creator Morton Bartlett (1909-1992).


Morton Bartlett, an American graphic designer and photographer, invented a fictitious family for himself. It was only when he passed away in 1992, at the age of 83 that his parallel life came to light. Over a period of twenty-seven years, from 1936 to 1963, he conceived and created the dolls of children that related him to the age at which he himself was orphaned as a child.

The models were then photographed in highly stylized poses and have become connoisseurs items.


The Collection de l’Art Brut holds the major share of his production, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in San Franciso also possess Bartlett photographs.

Bartlett_cab-11092 Bartlett_cab-11096

The exhibition at the Musée de l’Art brut in Lausanne was organized jointly with the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart (Contemporary Art Museum), Berlin, which, interestingly, presented it as art, not outsider art.

Michèle Laird spoke with Welsh-born antique dealer Marion Harris, who discovered the Bartlett treasure trove in the US, where she currently lives.

The exclusive interview with Marion Harris was broadcast by World Radio Switzerland on 18 December 2012.

Michèle Laird, née Haffner, was an international arts administrator (visual arts and theatre), successively in Paris, New York and London, before moving to Switzerland and becoming an arts journalist.

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