UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 01 Fall 14 Library
Joseph Cornell 
American, 1903–1972
Untitled (Harlequin Jumping Jack), c. 1935–38
Box construction, 13 7/8 x 12 1/8 x 2 1/2 in, 35.24 x 30.8 x 6.35 cm
Gift of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, 2002.15.1
The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville Art © The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/Licensed by VAGA New York, NY
The Fralin

Joseph Cornell & Surrealism

Last spring, The Fralin Museum of Art drew the attention of the international art world with a landmark exhibition highlighting the work of the American artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972). Presented in collaboration with the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, the exhibition took six years to conceptualize and bring to Grounds, and focused on Cornell’s works and the way that surrealism inspired and informed his works during the 1930’s and 40’s. Pieces by the New York native, who called the city both his home and his muse and who famously turned found objects into artistic treasures in his masterful shadow boxes and collages, were presented alongside those by the leading surrealists of his era, including Salvador Dalì, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst and Man Ray. The exhibition was accompanied by a two-day symposium organized in collaboration with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in addition to guided tours, a poetry reading inspired by Cornell’s work, and family programming. Thanks to the ongoing generosity of the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, The Fralin is home to an impressive collection of Joseph Cornell’s works, including six boxes and fourteen collages.


The Fralin Members provide vital support for the Museum's programs, exhibitions, and acquisitions.
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