Study for "Prière de toucher (Please Touch)"

Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968


Plaster mounted on velvet in wood and glass frame

16 x 16 x 4 inches (40.6 x 40.6 x 10.2 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Succession Marcel Duchamp

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 182, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor (d’Harnoncourt Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Enrico Donati, 1997

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This plaster carving of a female breast served as the model for the cover of the deluxe edition of the exhibition catalogue for the 1947 international Surrealist exhibition in Paris. Duchamp had hoped to handcraft individual plaster breasts for each of the 999 planned copies of the catalogue, but he abandoned that idea and instead hand-painted 999 foam-rubber "falsies" with the Surrealist artist Enrico Donati. Donati later recalled, "When we were finished, I told Marcel that I never thought I would get tired of handling so many breasts, and he replied, 'Maybe that's the whole idea.'"

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.