Modern and Contemporary Art
Study for "Prière de toucher (Please Touch)"
Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968
Plaster mounted on velvet in wood and glass frame
Currently not on view
1997-33-1Gift of Enrico Donati, 1997
LabelThis 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.'"