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    Artist Name:

    Joseph Cornell

    Nationality & Life Dates:

    American, 1903–1972




    ca. 1957


    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

    Credit Line:

    Gift of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation

    Accession Number:



    © 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.

    Reproduction of digital images, including downloading, is governed by copyright laws and international conventions. Please contact the Images and Rights Coordinator for information concerning permissions or to request digital photography of works in the High's collection.

    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.