Joseph Cornell, ‘Untitled (Fanny Ward)’, Christie's

Joseph Cornell (1903-1972)

Untitled (Fanny Ward)

signed and dated 'Joseph Cornell 1945' (on a paper label affixed to the reverse)

wood box construction--wood, printed paper collage, paint, glass, clay pipe, black and white photo and velvet

10½ x 13 1/8 x 2 in. (26.6 x 33.3 x 5 cm.)

Executed in 1945.

Signature: signed and dated 'Joseph Cornell 1945' (on a paper label affixed to the reverse)

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, American Art at Mid-Century, October 1973-January 1974, n.p. (illustrated).

New York, Leo Castelli Gallery, Joseph Cornell, February 1976-March 1976, pl. 26 (illustrated).

Houston, Institute for the Arts, Rice University, Joseph Cornell, September-December 1977.

New York, Museum of Modern Art and Art Institute of Chicago, Joseph Cornell, November 1980-March 1982, no. 67 (illustrated).

Washington, D.C., National Museum of American, Joseph Cornell: An Exploration of Sources, November 1982-February 1983.

Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Dada and Surrealism in Chicago Collections, December 1984-January 1985, p. 129 (illustrated).

Washington, D.C., Smithsonian American Art Museum and Salem, Peabody Essex Museum, Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination, November 2006-February 2007, p. 189, pl. 64 (illustrated in color).

L. Alloway, "The View from the 20th Century," Artforum, vol. 12, no. 5, January 1974, p. 45 (illustrated).

Richard Feigen, New York

Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1976

About Joseph Cornell

Widely considered one of the seminal American artists of the 20th century, Joseph Cornell pioneered assemblage through his boxed constructions and collages. He is best known for his “shadow boxes” made from found materials such as marbles, toys, seashells, and other bric-a-brac obtained in souvenir shops, penny arcades, and trash heaps. Interests in 19th century Romantic literature, ballet, the Surrealism of Max Ernst, childhood experiences, and the cinema coalesced in Cornell’s allegorically charged work, which would influence generations of contemporary artists. Toward the Blue Peninsula (1953) is among his most recognizable works, which he made drawing inspiration from a view of the night sky in Emily Dickinson’s bedroom and a passage of her poetry. At once figurative and abstract, the box consists of a partially caged, empty space and a window onto a twilight sky.

American, 1903-1972, Nyack, New York