Nationality & Life Dates:
Box construction with paper, metal, photomechanical reproduction, tempera, clay, cork, glass, and wood
9 5/8 x 15 1/8 x 3 11/16 inches
Gift of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation
© The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Currently Not on View
Joseph Cornell shared the European Surrealists’ fascination with the subconscious but approached his subjects with a romantic whimsy free from Surrealism’s ominous overtones. For Cornell, childhood represented unfettered imagination and provided an endless source of inspiration. Thus games and child-like fantasy are ever-present aspects of his work. Part of a series frequently referred to as Soap Bubble Sets, this work includes objects and themes that symbolize Cornell’s Dutch heritage, such as the white clay pipe. The blue ball represents both a soap bubble and the moon as it rolls across the sky—an allusion invoked by the title Cassiopeia, the name of a star.