Cornell, Joseph

Cornell, Joseph, American artist, 1903–72, b. Nyack, N.Y. Cornell is best known for his surrealist-flavored shadow boxes. These are relatively small constructions, within glass-fronted shallow boxes or frames, made of a wide variety of found objects, maps, photographs, engravings, and other materials. The Cornell boxes possess a unique visual magic, and their selection and arrangement are extraordinarily evocative and filled with personal symbolism. Hôtel du Nord (c.1953 Whitney Mus., New York City) is a representative work.

See biography by D. Solomon (1997) D. Ashton and J. Ashbery, ed., A Joseph Cornell Album (1974, repr. 2002) A. Leppanen-Guerra and D. Tashjian, ed., Joseph Cornell's Manual of Marvels (2012) studies by D. Waldman (2002), I. Schafffner (2003), and L. R. Hartigan (2007).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American and Canadian Art: Biographies

Browse by Subject

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.