A daughter who emigrated to Australia remembers her mother and the origin of the Sasha Dolls.
“When money got scarce, and there was not enough for the next loaf of bread, Mother gathered a few of Father’s drawings and watercolors and went to show them to someone who was interested in art, had plenty of money, and maybe some empathy for a struggling young family. ‘You were raised on carrots and potatoes,’ Mother said.”
Steffan Biffiger, Ernst and Sasha Morgenthaler – “Laughter and Tears in Equal Measure”
Art historian Steffan Biffiger, who is the executor of Ernst and Sasha Morgenthaler’s estate, tells of the couple’s artistic evolution.
“During a stay in Paris, Ernst wrote to Sasha: ‘The dolls you make are so beautiful! If you had the peace and time for it, your imagination would produce hundreds more. Yet you have neither peace nor time—you’ve become a slave of your factory.’”
On the occasion of Sasha Morgenthaler’s 125th birthday, SRF 2 Kultur broadcast a short radio feature on Friday, 30 November, 2018 (only in German):
“The dolls made by Sasha Morgenthaler are famous around the world. But who was the woman who created them?”
Length: from minute 19:12 to minute 23:35.
Moderation: Sandra Leis, editorial department at SRF 2 Kultur Aktualität
Marianne Fehr, “They Are Still There,” in Schweizer Familie 37 (2015), pp. 18–25 (only in German).
On the occasion of an exhibition at the Art Museum in Thun, Marianne Fehr, editor of the weekly Schweizer Familie magazine, examined the history of three generations of the Morgenthaler family.
(Lead) “Sasha invented the world-famous Sasha Dolls, and Ernst was a renowned painter. The Morgenthalers and their friends were an influential circle of Swiss artists for decades, and their work resonates to this day.” — “[…] Sasha’s grandson Jan remembers that Sasha was the Morgenthalers’ ‘absolute epicentre’, and that ‘she was Home Secretary, Attorney General and Foreign Secretary all in one.’ As a primary-school child he served as the model for dolls’ bellies, and he received five Swiss Francs for two or three hours of modelling.”
A pdf of the article can be downloaded here.
Suzanne Oswald, “Sasha Morgenthaler and Her Dolls,” in Das Werk. Architektur und Kunst 40 (1953), Volume 1, Wohnbauten – Hausgerät, pp. 25–30.
In this article from the 1950s, the author delves into Sasha Morgenthaler’s work methods. It contains six black-and-white photos (stuffed animals, dolls, model figures).
“Sasha makes her dolls with concrete intentions in mind. She had always had ‘the quirk that good dolls would help teach children to be more humane’. Possibly because dolls that look so human force children to treat them with care. Or possibly because a sensitive child can establish a relationship with a Sasha Doll that is characterised by intimacy and significance, thereby fulfilling Sasha’s intentions.”
A pdf of the article (only in German) can be downloaded via e-periodica (ETH Zurich).
Hans Kasser, “Sasha Morgenthaler—Neue Puppen und Mannequins / New Dolls and Model Figures,” with photos by Werner Bischof, in Graphis 1/2 (1944), pp. 94–98 (German/English).
In this first edition of the Graphis magazine, the author writes about Sasha Morgenthaler’s model figures that were exhibited at the Zurich Fashion Week and connects them to her dolls. Includes black-and-white photos by Werner Bischof.
“At the ‘Zurich Fashions Week’ this spring it was surprising to be confronted with thirty mannequin models which showed unusual charm. They were not beautiful in the normal sense, there was in fact something almost improvised in their design.”
The article can be read in the International Advertising & Design Database (IADDB) and saved as individual pages. The entire volume is available in digital format on the website of the Graphis magazine.
An incomplete list of links which can be extended as necessary.
www.sashadoll.com — Susanna Lewis’s extensive homepage with information on Sasha Dolls, a list of links, bibliography, and more. Her books on the Sasha Dolls can be ordered here.
www.sasha-puppen.ch — Web page by Steffan Biffiger, art historian and art critic, the author of several artist monographs on (amongst others) Ernst Morgenthaler (www.kunstundbuch.ch), as well as the executor of Ernst and Sasha Morgenthaler’s estate in Thun. The web page mainly presents photos of dolls.