Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination

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9780300111620: Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination

Joseph Cornell (1903 1972) was a self-taught yet highly sophisticated artist who is celebrated for his pioneering achievement in collage, assemblage, and film. Cornell’s lyrical compositions combine found materials in ways that reflect a very personal exploration of art and culture and that represent his belief in art as an uplifting voyage into the imagination. This stunning book is published to accompany the first retrospective of the artist’s work in twenty-six years.

In her essay, Cornell scholar Lynda Roscoe Hartigan focuses on the seminal experiences and concepts that shaped Cornell’s evolution as an American artist with a singular style of seeing. His transformation of found materials, distillation of far-flung ideas and traditions, and mingling of the vernacular and the erudite resonate with the spirit of synthetic innovation associated with American art and culture. Additionally, eight thematic sections Navigating a Career, Cabinets of Curiosity, Dream Machines, Bouquets of Homage, Nature’s Theater, Geographies of the Heavens, Crystal Cages, and Chambers of Time explore the major ideas that recur in his work. The book also includes a bibliography, numerous illustrations of the artist’s source material and previously unpublished works, and much more.

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About the Author:

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan is Chief Curator at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts. She is the founding curator of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s Joseph Cornell Study Center and has published extensively on the artist.  

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