Joseph Cornell Art

Untitled (Cockatoo and Corks)
c. 1948; Construction, 14 3/8 x 13 1/2 x 5 5/8 in; Private collection
Untitled (The Hotel Eden)
c. 1945; Construction, 15 1/8 x 15 3/4 x 4 3/4 in; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
A Parrot for Juan Gris
Winter 1953-54; Construction, 17 3/4 x 12 3/16 x 4 5/8 in; Collection Paul Simon
Grand Hotel Semiramis
1950; Construction, 18 x 11 7/8 x 4 in; Private collection, New York
Untilted (Cockatoo with Watch Faces)
about 1949; Construction, 16 1/4 x 17 x 4 7/16 in; The Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection, Chicago

Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery
1943; Construction, 15 1/2 x 11 1/8 x 4 1/4 in; Des Moines Art Center, Coffin Fine Arts  
The Caliph of Bagdad
about 1954; Construction 20.38 x 13.75 x 4.5 in

Aviary Parrot Box with Wire Drawers
1949; Construction 17.25 x 14 x 3.25 in

Fortune Telling Parrot (Parrot Music Box)
about 1937–38; Construction, 16 1/16 x 8 3/4 x 6 11/16, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice

Untitled (Hôtel de la Duchesse-Anne)
1957; Construction 17 5/8 x 12 1/4 x 4 7/16 in; Lindy and Edwin Bergman Joseph Cornell Collection, Chicago

Untitled (Parrot and Butterfly Habitat)
about 1948; Construction 19.63 x 13.63 x 6.5 in; Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, Sakura, Japan

Grand Hotel Fontaine (Bleu Parrot)
1950; Construction 16.75 x 10.25 x 4.63 in

Hotel De La Mer, about 1950

Joseph Cornell's boxes in a Simpson Episode
Joseph Cornell (December 24, 1903 – December 29, 1972) was an American artist and sculptor, one of the pioneers and most celebrated exponents of assemblage. Influenced by the Surrealists, he was also an avant-garde experimental filmmaker.

Cornell's most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These are simple boxes, usually glass-fronted, in which he arranged surprising collections of photographs or Victorian bric-à-brac, in a way that combines the formal austerity of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Many of his boxes, such as the famous Medici Slot Machine boxes, are interactive and are meant to be handled.

Cornell often made boxed assemblages in series that reflected his various interests: the Soap Bubble Sets, the Medici Slot Machine series, the Pink Palace series, the Hotel series, the Observatory series, and the Space Object Boxes, among others. Also captivated with birds, Cornell created an Aviary series of boxes, in which colorful images of various birds were mounted on wood, cut out, & set against harsh white backgrounds.


  1. Thanks for this post about Cornell, the Simpsons cartoon, also excellent !

  2. What Simspson's episod is that?

  3. Aren't these just wonderful! I never heard of him till tonight. I would be hard put to ever choose one of these fabulous things, not that it would ever happen.

  4. Antiques roadshow?
    Yeah me too. Just been looking him up.
    The Simpsons episode is "lisa the drama queen"
    I didn't get the art reference at the time.
    But now I know,
    And knowing is half the battle.