Morton Bartlett
American, 1909-1992
Selected exhibitions
Julie Saul Gallery at The Photography Show 2016 | presented by AIPAD,
Julie Saul Gallery
FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery at Outsider Art Fair New York 2014,
Disturbing Innocence,
The FLAG Art Foundation

A pioneer of staged photography, Morton Bartlett created and photographed uncannily lifelike dolls whose features expressed a range of emotions. Using a Brownie camera to photograph them in sets that he designed, Bartlett carved and painted the dolls in highly specific detail. “There is a kind of artificiality to Bartlett’s images that oscillates between communicating the idealization of children favored by society and the underlying tensions of childhood that often stem from the strain of that idealization,” art critic Roberta Smith wrote of his work. Predating many artists whose images followed suit, such as Mike Kelley and Laurie Simmons, Bartlett’s photographs marked a break from the dominant photographic styles of the 1940s and ’50s, the period in which he worked.