Sonia Sekula - brief time line:

1918 Born in Lucerne at 8th April 1918. Daughter of Béla Sekula (1881-1966) an Hungarian coming to Switzerland at 1913 and married Berta (Bertie) Huguenin (1896-1980) at 9th October 1916.
There is a sister (Hedy) and a brother (Karl) from the first marriage of the father.
They all life in the Villa Sonnenhof in Lucerne
1925-30 (7-12 y) Attend at the private school Brun in Lucerne
1930-31 (12-13 y) Attend at the private school in Zuoz
1932-33 (14 - 15 y) Attend the "Handlesschule" in Luzerne
1933-34 (15 - 16 y) Attend the "Hochalpine Töchterninstitute" in Ftan
1934-35 (16 - 17 y) Language, art and painting studies in Hungary and Florenz
1935 (17 y) Met Annemarie Schwarzenbach a Swiss writer and photo journalist
1936 (18 y) Visit Annemarie Schwarzenbach in the Engadin and met there Klaus Mann.
The family travel in the summer time to Budapest and met there the writer Otto Indig. He write a novel about Sonja (alias Katja).
At 23th September the Sekula family emigrate to the US and life at Douglaston, Long Island. At 6th December the family was visited by Erika and Klaus Mann
1937 (19 y) Sonja takes painting lessons at George Grosz
In September she attend at the Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxvill for art, philosiphie and literature study.
1938 (20 y) The family moved to 400 Park Avenue in central New York.
Travel to Europe.
The first suicide attempt
1939 (21 y) Under medical treatment at New York Hospital , White Plains.
The family moved to Scarsdake near White Plains
1940 (22 y) The family moved to Westport, Connecticut
1941 (23 y) Sonja leaf the hospital and attend at Art Students League in New York in the modernist classes of Morris Kantor
1942 (24 y) The family moved to 399 Park Avenue in central New York.
Met André Breton, Roberto Matta, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Kurt Seligmann, Isabelle Waldberg, Robert Motherwell and David Hare
1943 (25 y) Here first painting at an exhibition at "31 Women" (Peggy Guggenheim, Art of This Century Galery).
The first and only publication of a text of here at VVV magazine (March 1943)
1944 (26 y) Travel to Florida
1945 (27 y) In love with the paintres Alice Rahon (the wife of Wolfgang Paalen).
She lifed during the summer in the flat of André Breton ( 45 West 56th Street)
In autumn travel to Mexico. Met Wofgang Paalen, Frida Kahlo, Gordon Onslow Ford, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo.
1946 (28 y) Here first exclusive exhibition at Art of This Century Galery.
Frida Kahlo visit the Sekula family
In the summer time together with here friend Natica Waterbury in the summer house at Asharoken Beach Northport, Long Island.
The photographer André de Dienes visit them and take some pictures.
In autumn she moved together with Natica Waterbury to New Mexico and study the live of the native Americans.
1947 (29 y) From January to April Sonja travels with her mother to Mexico. Stay ther with Gordon Onslow Ford at Erongaricuaro on Lake Patzcuaro. In June she returns to New York and meets the composer John Cage. At November 5 she moves into 326 Monroe Street where Cage and Merce Cunningham live.
Later, the composer Morton Feldmann and the artists Richard Lippold, Ray Johnson and Joseph Glasco also moves to Monroe Street.
She paints a costume for Cunnungham for the performance "Dromenon" at December 14.
Meets Manina Thoeren.
1948 (30 y) In May, her first exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery.  
1949 (31 y) In Spring, departure to Europe (with an American passport). Stay for two years in Paris. Spends the Summer in St.Tropez. There sie meets Thoeren with whom she is very much in love. In September she visits Capri with Natica Waterbury proceding to Rome and Athens.
Returns to Paris in November.
1950 (32 y) In Paris she lives in the same hotel as Natica Waterbury and Jane Bowles. Shee meets Pierre Boulez, Alice Toklas and Léopold Sedar Senghor.
Between February and March in London for an exhibition with Max Ernst.July and August in Tangiers and from there to Spain.
In November she sail back from Hamburg to New York.
1951 (33 y) In April after opening of her third exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery, she suffers a breakdown. Taken to the psychiatric clinic of the New York hospital in White Plains.
She leave the hospital towards the end of the year and moves to back to her parents on Park Avenue.
1952 (34 y) On May she teaches at a private school in Covington, Louisiana.

John Cage dedicates one of the "Seven Haiku" to Sonja

In the autumn with her mother to Switzerland and end of October she admitted to the Bellvue sanatorium in Kreuzlingen.

1953 (35 y) In October Sonja is able to leave the clinic in Kreuzlingen and stays with her Mother at the Pension Tiefenau in Zürich.  
1954 (36 y) In January Sonja is back in New York. In spring she is admitted to the Hall Brooke psychiatric clinic in Westport, CT. Here parents live at a hotel in New York.  
1955 (37 y) Sonja leave the clinic in March. The parents cna no longer afford the long stays in American clinics, and they return to Switzerland, moving to the Pension Tiefenau in Zürich. From the summer onwards the family lives in the Chalet Opel in St.Moritz with Fritz von Opel and his wife Emita.
In October and November Sonja travels with her mother to Spain. On December 1, the family moves into its own apartment in the Haus Heimat in St.Moritz-Bad.
1956 (38 y) From March till May Sonja re-enter the Bellvue sanatorium in Kreuzligen.
She meets Betty Parsons in Venice, visiting the Biennale. In November and Dezember back in the Pension Tiefenau in Zürich.
1957 (39 y) In January Sonja has her first solo exhibition in Switzerland at the Galerie Palette in Zürich. In April she goes to Paris and meets Jean Dubuffet at an exhibition opening. Afterwards she goes to St.Tropez, staying at the von Opel villa.
In October she travels to Ascona (Switzerland) and visit Hans Arp.
1958 (40 y) From April she lives with her parents at Steinwiesenstrasse 18 in Zürich.
She meets the artist Adrien de Menasce.
In Autumn she has to enter the psychiatric clinic Hohenegg near Zürich.
1959 (41 y) Till May at the clinic. Later she meet the artist Manon, the photographer Roland Gretler and the painter Oscar Dalvit.  
1960 (42 y) Split with Betty Parsons, she receives back almost all the pictures remaining in Parsons' gallery.
In April she works in the lending library of the Zürich store, Jelmoli, for a short time. Afterwards she enters the Hohenegg clinic and moves in August to the clinic Wyss in Münchenbuchsee till December.
1961 (43 y) Spends January in Längenschachen on the lake Thun with the teacher Sylvia Mosimann. On March to April she works on the socalled "Meditaion Boxes". For the month  May she is back in the psychiatric clinic at Münchenbuchsee.  
1962 (44 y) She works for the an egg import firm. In August she travels to St.Moritz. On returning to Zürich she works in a hospital laundry.  
1963 (45 y) Renewed admission to the Hohenegg clinic.
On April 23, she celebrates her mother's birthday with her parents.
After a woman friend cancels a joint visit to the Max Ernst exhibition in the Kunsthaus the following day, on April 25 she hangs herself in her studio.


She is buried in St.Moritz as she had requested in a letter to her mother ....


The father Béla died in 1966, the mother Berta (Bertie) in 1980.

Karl Sekula ...


Hedy xxx-Sekula ...