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Worlds Behind Class

May 2024
1min read

A new look at Joseph Cornell’s enclosed masterpieces

The eerily moving universes framed inside boxes that Joseph Cornell spent four decades creating are brought together in a truly sumptuous volume published to mark the centennial of his birth in December 2003. Joseph Cornell: Shadowplay Eterniday (Thames & Hudson, 256 pages, $60) has more than 200 color plates, many of them full page. They lead irresistibly into his compact realms of paper birds, star maps, Medici princesses, and so-called ballets, but to get you even closer, the volume includes, in a sleeve in the back, a DVD-ROM with which you can explore many of Cornell’s boxes on your computer, viewing them from multiple angles, from close and far, and navigating inside them. The DVD also contains nine short, epigrammatic films he made, bringing his unique artistic vision to another medium.

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