a.9The artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) created masterpieces out of found objects and other things he collected in his life.  He pioneered the modern “assemblage” art that has become quite popular in recent years, and is in fact, the medium in which yours truly dabbles.

Cornell’s work is amazing when looked at nearly 40 years after his death as you can appreciate the influence he has had.  You can also imagine what the art world thought of his work in his lifetime.

The “boxes” Cornell created have influenced my own work and it is great to see that he is still appreciated.  His work is commemorated in perhaps one of the coolest books I have ever seen – “The Joseph Cornell Box.”

About the book, “The Joseph Cornell Box”: “Joseph Cornell’s life, his sources of artistic inspiration, and his intriguing boxes are presented in beautifully collaged spreads in the 80-page book. The book’s design, inspired by Cornell’s boxes, collages, and letters, tells his story in both words and images. A project section aims to inspire the reader to create their own box assemblages. Ideas and materials are suggested for six boxes, including habitat boxes, game boxes, and museum boxes, all based on significant themes in Cornell’s work.”

The internet is full of great resources to see and learn more about Cornell’s work.  Some of the world’s greatest museums have Cornell pieces in their permanent collections.   Here is just a sampling:

From the Art Institute of Chicago.

From the National Gallery of Art (DC)

From the Museum of Modern Art (NYC)