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Joseph Cornell
American, 1903 - 1972

The Admiral's Game, ca. 1950
American Sculpture
Mixed media
12 x 18 x 4 in. (30.5 x 45.7 x 10.2 cm), overall

Maurice R. and Maxine B. Forman Fund,  98.77

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About the Object

Romantic and enigmatic, Joseph Cornell's boxes are filled with fragments of found materials. In The Admiral's Game, the parallel rods that hold a pair of white balls might suggest a playful arcade game or the timeless and profound idea of an all-powerful creator setting the planets in motion.

Cornell made his highly symbolic and mysterious creations at the home that he shared with his mother and brother in Queens, New York. While Cornell was reclusive and essentially an outsider in the art world, his work influenced many important American artists, including Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Marcel Duchamp.

[Summer 2015]