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Joseph Cornell

Opening the Box

Jason Edwards and Stephanie L. Taylor

In spite of the widespread fascination with the life and work of American artist Joseph Cornell in both the academy and the gallery, studies of Cornell to date have been circumscribed by a range of critical clichés about the artist being a childlike dreamer, hermetically sealed off from the world, which has prevented his work from being fully understood in all of its complexity and diversity. This book contains more than 50 illustrations of the artist’s work – many never before reproduced – and provides 13 ground-breaking new essays on the artist’s films, dossiers, pill-boxes, magazine work, correspondence, diary entries and more ephemeral writings from internationally reputed scholars from both sides of the Atlantic.
These exciting, provocative, and unusually interdisciplinary essays emerge from a variety of disciplines, including Art History, Philosophy, English and American Studies, Geography, Visual Culture and Film Studies. In ‘opening the box’ on Cornell, the artist appears in a range of significant new contexts, alongside European and American Modernists and Surrealists from literature and the visual arts, heavy-weight European and American philosophers, nineteenth-century forebears, and contemporary film-makers.
Contents: Dawn Ades: Preface – Jason Edwards: Coming Out as a Cornellian – James Housefield/Diana K. Davis: Joseph Cornell, Geographer of Utopia Parkway – Julia Kelly: Sights Unseen: Raymond Roussel, Michel Leiris, Joseph Cornell and the Art of Travel – Hugh Stevens: Joseph Cornell’s Dance to the Music of Time: History and Giving in the Ballet Constructions – Erika Doss: Joseph Cornell and Christian Science – Ariane Mildenberg: Through the Wrong End of the Telescope: Thresholds of Perception in Joseph Cornell, John Ashbery and Maurice Merleau-Ponty – Dickran Tashjian: Paging Mr Cornell: The Book and its Double – Analisa Leppanen-Guerra: ‘A Stage of His Own Making’: Child-Time and Dream-Space in Joseph Cornell’s Theatre of Hans Christian Andersen – Joanna Roche: Joseph Cornell’s Garden Center 44: The Poetics of Memory – Stamatina Dimakopoulou: Nostalgia, Reconciliation and Critique in the Work of Joseph Cornell – Anna Dezeuze: Unpacking Joseph Cornell: Consumption and Play in the Work of Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and George Brecht – Melinda Barlow: The Cinema of Humble Means: Joseph Cornell’s Influence on Contemporary Experimental Filmmakers – Stephanie L. Taylor: Afterword: Opening the Possibilities, Opening the Box.