The third exhibition of the "secret universe" series presents the work of the American artist Morton Bartlett (1909-1992). Central works of his oeuvre are fifteen semi-life-sized dolls, twelve girls and three boys. Having dropped out of Harvard in order to work as a commercial photographer, Bartlett began producing these dolls in the middle of the 1930s, attempting to make them seem as life-like as possible.
He studied anatomy books and costume history, learned to sew and work with clay. It took him up to a year to create each of the figures. Bartlett designed various costumes and wigs in order to stage the dolls in true-to-life situations. He inserted them into various moments from real life and thus he breathed life into his creations through photography.
His work was created for private use and was never exhibited during his lifetime. The dolls, approximately 200 black-and-white photographs, drawings, color slides and costumes were first discovered in 1993.
The exhibition in the Hamburger Bahnhof is the first solo museum show of Morton Bartlett's work in Germany. The "secret universe" series has been made possible by the 'About Change, Stiftung'.