Skip to main content

Joseph Cornell / Marcel Duchamp…in resonance

October 8, 1998–January 3, 1999

This exhibition explores the artistic collaboration and confluence of two celebrated and highly individual 20th-century artists, and introduces the Marcel Duchamp Dossier, a largely unknown work by Cornell dedicated to his friend Duchamp.

The expatriate Frenchman Marcel Duchamp met the American artist Joseph Cornell in New York in the early 1930s. In the early 1940s, Duchamp engaged Cornell to assist him in assembling the deluxe editions of Duchamp's new project, the miniature "museum" of his work, commonly referred to as the Box-in-Valise. At this time Cornell also began his Marcel Duchamp Dossier, a work that contains 117 items ranging from Mona Lisa postcards, dry-cleaning receipts, and correspondence, to Box-in-Valise fragments, readymades, and a study by Duchamp for his Genre Allegory. Cornell's Duchamp Dossier thus provides a particularly rich source of insight into both artists' creative lives during several crucial decades.

Organized jointly by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, this exhibition includes some 40 works by each artist, and examines interests shared by both artists, including film, optics, glass, games, the "portable museum," and the elusive yet potent force of desire. Joseph Cornell / Marcel Duchamp…in resonance enhances--and wonderfully complicates--what we know about these enigmatic artists.


Philadelphia Museum of Art • October 8, 1998 - January 3, 1999
The Menil Collection, Houston • January 29 - May 16, 1999


A fully illustrated catalogue of the exhibition with essays by Ecke Bonk, Susan Davidison, Anne d'Harnoncourt, Lynn Roscoe Hartigan, Ann Temkin, and Walter Hopps.

Main Building


Joseph Cornell / Marcel resonance was jointly organized by The Menil Collection, Houston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. In Philadelphia, the exhibition is also supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Dedalus Foundation.


Ann Temkin • The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Twentieth-Century Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Walter Hopps • Curator of Twentieth Century Art, The Menil Collection
Ecke Bonk • Independent scholar
Susan Davidson • Associate Curator, The Menil Collection
Lynda Roscoe Hartigan • Curator of Painting and Sculpture, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Check out other exhibitions

View full calendar