Sep 5, 2008




Joseph Cornell

(American, 1903–1972)

Wood, glass and found objects

Framed: 25 x 37 x 9.5 cm (9 13/16 x 14 9/16 x 3 3/4 in.); Overall: 24.8 x 36.9 x 9.2 cm (9 3/4 x 14 1/2 x 3 5/8 in.)

Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art 1964.143


Did you know?

The poet Charles Simic described Cornell's boxes as "dreams in which objects are renamed and invested with imaginary lives."


Cornell devoted much of his life to assembling glass-fronted boxes of objects and printed material that he found or acquired from second-hand shops and bookstores. By virtue of their unexpected juxtapositions, the artist’s arrangements generate poetic associations. In this example, the cork balls, metal ring, black disk, and constellation diagram evoke the structure and mysteries of the universe. The meaning behind the title of the work remains elusive, perhaps as Cornell intended.

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