Sasha dolls from the collection of Ellen Church. PHOTO COURTESY OF ELLEN CHURCH

Sasha dolls on display

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Sasha dolls from the collection of Ellen Church are being displayed at the Southwest Harbor Public Library during June in celebration of Children’s Month.

These dolls were created by Swiss artist-mother Sasha Morganthaler (1893-1975), who wanted to design a play doll that would have universal appeal for children.

The dolls she designed have a warm, tanned skin color to represent the blending of all skin colors of children around the world. The artist decided not to give the dolls a permanent smile, for she knew from her own children that they do not smile all the time. Instead, she found that depending on the position of the dolls head, a Sasha doll’s face might express thoughtfulness, wonder, shyness, stubbornness and joy.

The dolls have beautifully stylized limbs in a quarter scale that is in realistic proportion to humans. They are nicely balanced so they can stand alone and even balance on their heads with arms up for support. The artist created both boy and girl dolls, all with rooted hair in brown, red or blonde color. The dolls in the earliest years had hand-painted features, which were later spray painted as a time saver. Sasha dolls are no longer being produced.

Church purchased her first doll in 1968. Since then, her collection has grown considerably. She loves to sew and knit for the dolls and display them throughout her house dressed for the current season or holiday. For more about Sasha dolls or to see more of Church’s collection, call her at 244-3283.



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