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Joseph Cornell

Celestial Navigation

c. 1958

Joseph Cornell, Celestial Navigation, c. 1958. Box construction with wood, glasses, marbles, plaster head, painted cork ball, metal rods, nails, paper collage, tempera, and painted glass, 9 5/8 × 16 1/4 × 4 in. (24.5 × 41.3 × 10.2 cm) overall. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; 60th Anniversary Gift of Estée Lauder Inc.  92.24a-k
Art © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Joseph Cornell lived in Flushing, Queens for most of his life, and did not travel very much outside of New York. Yet in his imagination, he traveled through space and time, exploring different places, and inventing his own magical worlds that he constructed in boxes. Cornell collected things that were related to his favorite subjects: the ballet, literature, and astronomy. He is often categorized as a Surrealist artist because his sculptures evoke a dream-like or fantasy mood.
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