Tony (Anthony Frederick) Sarg was a designer, decorator, cartoonist, illustrator, sculptor, writer and lecturer. His most important contribution to American art was as a puppeteer, reviving marionette theatre in North America. Born in Guatemala to a German father and English mother, Sarg began his career in the German military, resigning his commission in 1905 and moving to England. There he met and married an American woman; they moved to New York City in 1915. He became a U.S. citizen in 1920. He was an illustration artist for various publications including the Saturday Evening Post. In 1917, he began to create marionettes and motion picture shadowgraph productions. Sarg mentored the famous puppeteer Bil Baird, and together they designed and built tethered helium-filled balloons for the Macy’s department store’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 1928. With Baird, Sarg also created designs for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Then Baird left to form his own competing studio. From 1935 until his death in 1942, Sarg designed Macy’s elaborate animated window display for the holiday season. A member of the Salmagundi Club and the Society of Illustrators, Sarg also was the author and illustrator of several books for children, and designed ingenious toys and puzzles. His pictorial maps include a map of Greenwich Village and the New York 1939 Official World’s Fair Pictorial Map. He also made a pictorial map of Nantucket, where he owned a home and was active in its civic life. Today, the Nantucket Historical Association has a major collection of his work.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning, wear, soiling, soft creases.
Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art. Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985. p. 542.
“Tony Sarg.” Wikipedia. 12 July 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Sarg (10 October 2005).
“Tony Sarg in Nantucket.”; Nantucket Historical Association. 16 October 2004. http://www.nha.org/digitalexhibits/sarg/sargbiography.html (10 October 2005).