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"Imperious Jewelry of the Universe" (Lunar Baedeker): Portrait of Mina Loy, Daguerreotype-Object

Joseph Cornell, American, 1903 - 1972. Photograph by Man Ray, American, 1890 - 1976.

Made in United States, North and Central America


Assemblage of silvered glass, glass shards, cut-out printed illustration, and gelatin silver print, in artist's frame

Case: 5 3/16 x 4 3/16 x 1 inches (13.2 x 10.6 x 2.5 cm) Frame: 11 x 10 1/16 x 2 1/8 inches (27.9 x 25.6 x 5.4 cm)

© The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York © Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. The Lynne and Harold Honickman Gift of the Julien Levy Collection, 2001

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Cornell found an important champion in the art dealer Julien Levy, whose Manhattan gallery was a premier venue for the display of modern art, especially photography, throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Levy included Cornell in the landmark 1932 Surréalisme exhibition—the first showing of both the artist’s work and Surrealist art in general in New York—as well as in numerous group and solo exhibitions in subsequent years. Through Levy, Cornell also gained access to daguerreotypes and albumen silver prints, which the artist would collect and incorporate into his works.These early photographs were produced using techniques already obsolete by the 1930s, which invested them with a particular aesthetic aura.