Joseph Cornell's Manual of Marvels: How Joseph Cornell Reinvented a French Agricultural Manual to Create an American Masterpiece

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One of Joseph Cornell’s favorite pastimes was to meander through the used bookstalls of lowerManhattan, sorting through old books, magazines, postcards, photos, and other ephemera in search ofitems to spark his creative impulses. Sometime in the early 1930s he came upon the Journal d’AgriculturePractique (Volume 21, 1911), a voluminous handbook of advice for farmers. Though he was very muchan urban creature, he adored French culture of that period, and the book was filled with charmingblack and white engraving and photographs of pigs, horses, vegetables, and farm machinery.Over time Cornell altered and reinvented many of the pages in the Journal. He inserted collages,photomontages, and occasional drawings; he crossed out words in the text and made French puns withothers. Hand-colored engravings, cutouts, and lift-ups intricately transport the reader from page to page.The dazzling elegance of Cornell’s work on the Journal has rarely been viewed. It was discoveredin his basement studio soon after his death in 1972 and is now in the collection of the PhiladelphiaMuseum of Art. Due to its fragility, the work is not well known, even among Cornell scholars. Now,in a unique venture, sixty of the most extraordinary pages have been re-created in virtual facsimile,with cutouts, glue-ons, and other unique handmade details. Included in a specially designed box area DVD of the entire work, including pop-up commentaries, and a volume of illustrated essays on theJournal and Cornell’s artistic practice.


ISBN 9780500516492
Genre ART / Individual Artists / Monographs
Pages 184
Publisher Date 2012-11-05 00:00:00.0
Publisher Thames & Hudson
Copyright Year 2012
Height 11.0 in
Wdth 8.0 in
Thickness 2.0 in
Unit weight 2.56 lb
Language English
Subtitle How Joseph Cornell Reinvented a French Agricultural Manual to Create an American Masterpiece
Edition Detail Facsimile
Audience General/trade
Authors Ades, Dawn

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