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Online Exhibitions

Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination

Navigating the Imagination

Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination

From November 17, 2006 through February 19, 2007, the Smithsonian American Art Museum hosted the retrospective exhibition Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination. The show featured 177 of his finest boxes, collages, objects, dossiers, films, and graphic designs. View some of these magical artworks in our slide show.

Joseph Cornell, one of America's most innovative artists, elevated the box to a major art form. He also was an accomplished collagist and filmmaker. Self-taught but amazingly sophisticated, he created his first collages, box constructions, and experimental films in the 1930s. By 1940, his boxes contained found materials artfully arranged, then collaged and painted to suggest poetic associations inspired by the arts, humanities, and sciences. His pieces have been described as romantic, poetic, lyrical, and surrealistic.

Learn more about Joseph Cornell with the following links:
Artworks by Joseph Cornell in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Collection
Cornell Collection at the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

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