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Joseph Cornell, Andromeda (Sand Fountain) (1953-1956)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
Joseph Cornell's boxes, like reliquaries or Victorian shadow boxes, combine found objects that symbolically memorialize cherished moments or memories. Replete with references to astronomical constellations, European resorts, children's games, Symbolist literature, and Hollywood glitterati, the boxes transform everyday objects into miniature, phantasmagoric worlds of poetry, myth, fantasy, and willful naiveté.

Cornell, who was born on (and forever enamored of) Christmas Day, intended his boxes to be personal gifts that could be held and manipulated by the viewer like puzzles or games. Through them, the artist allowed viewers to visit the mystical nexus where the ordinary becomes the sublime.

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Type: Commentary, object label
Source: Label text for Joseph Cornell, Andromeda (Sand Fountain) (1953-1956), from the exhibition Selections from the Permanent Collection, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, December 8, 1996 to April 4, 1999.
Rights: Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009