Spotlight On: Joseph Cornell’s Influence


I first discovered Joseph Cornell’s work on a visit to MOMA in New York City in 2006. I was captivated by Taglioni’s Jewel Casket and my interest increased as I found out more about his assemblage art. Known for his boxes showcasing found objects, the twentieth-century American artist inspired many writers.

The Grand Hotels (of Joseph Cornell) by Robert Coover
Coover leads us through ten Grand Hotels, building into his “architectural portrait of the artist” biographical details alongside flights of fancy.

A Convergence of Birds ed. Jonathan Safran Foer
Foer invited writers, including Rick Moody and Joyce Carol Oates, to contribute to this collection of original fiction and poetry inspired by Cornell’s avian boxes.

Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination is a wonderful introduction to the artist. I received this book for my birthday, and it made up somewhat for the fact that I couldn’t attend the 2007 exhibition itself.

In addition to many pictures of Cornell’s work, there are eight thematic sections that delve into the major concepts that occupied his art and imagination.

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