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Homage to Juan Gris

Joseph Cornell, American, 1903 - 1972


Box construction: wood, cut paper, and found objects

18 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 4 5/8 inches (47 x 31.8 x 11.7 cm)

© Visual Artists and Galleries Assoc., Inc. (VAGA), New York

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the John D. McIlhenny Fund, 1976

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Birds and their environments make frequent appearances in Cornell’s assemblages, often in the form of naturalist illustrations or in the shallow, gridded dovecotes of some of his boxes. These structures can suggest cages for domesticated pets, as with the cockatoo in Homage to Juan Gris, or dioramas that, in the tradition of natural history museums, represent the habitat of a certain species through staged, artificial means. In December 1949–January 1950, the Egan Gallery in New York City presented an exhibition called Aviary by Joseph Cornell, for which the artist created a wall-mounted lattice of supports to present his bird-related objects. His short film Aviary, about a young woman watching pigeons in New York, followed in 1954.