Series II. Philadelphia Museum of Art, "Marcel Duchamp," 1973
Material pertaining to the retrospective exhibition "Marcel Duchamp," co-curated by Anne d'Harnoncourt of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Kynaston McShine of The Museum of Modern Art. In addition to these venues, the show traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago. This exhibition, the third retrospective dedicated to Marcel Duchamp and the first organized following the artist's death, was a fitting inaugural exhibition of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's newly formed Twentieth Century Art Department. The show highlighted one of the Department's and, indeed the Museum's, strengths--its unrivaled collection of Duchamp works, the majority of which came to the Museum through the 1950 gift of the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection.
The records, particularly those in the "Research," "Reference material" and "Photographs" subseries, document the extensive scholarly research conducted by the organizers, particularly that of Anne d'Harnoncourt who compiled a comprehensive chronology of Duchamp's life and work for the catalog. Of particular interest are several folders of correspondence with Alexina Duchamp, the widow of Marcel Duchamp, who answered research questions and lent several works to the exhibition. Material in the "Loan records," "Planning and installation records" and "Budget" subseries document these administrative and curatorial aspects of the exhibition. The "Catalog" subseries contains drafts of scholarly essays, remembrances, checklists, and other catalog sections, as well as correspondence and contracts with contributors. The "Clippings" and "Ephemera" subseries include published materials, such as magazine and newspaper articles, invitations, press releases, and newsletters related to the exhibition and its programs.