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joseph cornell: shadow boxes full of mystery

Joseph Cornell (1903-72) with no formal art training began making collages and boxed assemblages in the early 1930s. An intensly shy, eccentric intellectual who was inspired by surrealism, he shopped local junk shops and dime stores near his home in New York to create original and unique pieces. Injecting 'idea' items into boxes, he attempted to display deeply personal experiences, thoughts or obsessions through his art. Set behind glass are reflections of his rich inner life and the romanticism of ideals and dreams-his quiet form of expression. Using things such as maps, toys, marbles, springs, feathers, sequins – he created boxes filled with fantasy and longing.

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