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Joseph Cornell: Shadowplay...Eterniday Hardcover – October 27, 2003


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Joseph Cornell: Shadowplay...Eterniday + Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams + The Joseph Cornell Box: Found Objects, Magical Worlds
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (October 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500976287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500976289
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 0.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #881,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The title of this extensive survey of Joseph Cornell's work, which ranges from his early collages to his famous "boxes," is drawn from Cornell's own designation for a concept of time indicating the eternal within the everyday. This idea very much informs the attitude of the various contributors to the volume-which comes with a DVD-ROM (not seen by PW) and is published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cornell's birth-who concentrate more on the mystical and emotional aspects of Cornell's work, as opposed to the conceptual or technical. While this inevitably leads to a preoccupation with Cornell's religious and sexual preferences, it also lends a charming accessibility and warmth to the text. The contributors do not hesitate to infuse their comments on individual pieces with their own personal experience with the work, which should particularly help neophytes of Cornell's work understand his appeal to such a broad spectrum of viewers. On Cornell's "Untitled [`Dovecote' American Gothic]," Hartigan writes, "I placed this box by my favorite chair, and over the years came to experience a serene sense of comfort and companionship embodied in the simple whitewashed habitation." More than 200 color illustrations of Cornell's work (along with 30 b&w) are placed against black backgrounds and categorized into topics meant to reflect Cornell's own fascinations, such as "Chests and Cabinets," "Habitats," "Aviaries" and "Celestial Navigation Variants." While the darkness of the backgrounds conveys to a certain extent the mysteriousness of Cornell's work, it also obscures some of the more shadowed pieces, and the categories, occasionally only three or four pages long, can seem arbitrary and exclusionary. However, the sheer sumptuousness of the reproductions and the personal enthusiasm of the authors, along with Cornell's own undeniable mystique, does much to overcome this, making the volume a fine introduction to an often misunderstood artist.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The centennial of the birth of Joseph Cornell, one of the most original and continually revelatory artists of all time, is the occasion for publication of the most exciting monograph devoted to his magical boxes and poetic collages yet created, a sumptuous volume accompanied by a state-of-the-art DVD-ROM. Crisp color reproductions of Cornell's work, suitably set against black backgrounds, offer a wealth of gorgeously detailed close-ups, and the unusually eloquent commentary reveals the aesthetic, spiritual, and intellectual intricacy inherent in Cornell's unique creations. In elucidating the self-taught artist's passion for the acquisition of myriad found objects and images and his penchant for classifying his diverse collection of mass-produced treasures, curator and Cornell expert Hartigan highlights Cornell's fascination with science, an often overlooked facet of his marvelously inclusive oeuvre. Vine, managing editor of Art in America, writes with great sympathy and knowledge about Cornell's devotion to the Christian Science faith and its profound influence on his art. And art collector Robert Lehrman describes what it's like to live with Cornell's cleverly constructed boxes, observing that his "best works reveal themselves gradually." Indeed, Cornell's chimerical, wistful, cosmic, and witty art incites fresh astonishment with each in-depth look. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

Excellent reproduction plates of Cornell's art.
P. Bell
This book presents the reader with in-depth insight into the ingeniuty of Mr. Cornell, God rest his tireless, creative soul!.
Photoboy
The book is exceptionally well produced and thorough.
D. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book, with the accompanying DVD, illuminates Joseph Cornell's work with a light twice as bright as that cast by the already amazing 1980 MOMA catalog; along with the extremely thoughtful and instructive essays, crystal clear printing, and the newly-photographed selection of boxes, it's the accompanying disc which really astounds, allowing one to see all his films, look through family photographs, examine and "zoom in" on all of his major works (including inside previously closed drawers and lids), see more clearly the pieces and stems of his paper dossiers and boxes of his working materials, and even see copies of a few of the books and records from his personal library - all of which leads to a sharper sense than ever of the texture, physicality, and feeling of his work. It would be difficult to imagine a more thoroughly considered book about Cornell than this - or about any artist, for that matter. I suspect this book will set a new standard for the idea of what qualifies as an "artist monograph," and the authors and designers should be congratulated for their amazing, careful, and truly generous achievement.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I don't think the Reader from Virginia Beach looked closely enough for the DVD. It's tucked away in the back cover of the book (lift the back flap of the book jacket to reveal it).
This book and DVD make Cornell, the person, come alive. His objects are beautiful but his motivations for making such wonderful work are brightly illuminated in Lynda Hartigan's well-written book and Robert Lehrman's DVD.
I am a developer of New Media and this has got to be one of THE BEST DVDs I have ever seen. The interface is beautiful and rich. And, most of all, it allows you to get close to Cornell's work (both physically and conceptually).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Photoboy on September 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Finally there is a good book of Cornell's work (shadow boxes) published, using detailed color photographs and remarkable notes/text. This book presents the reader with in-depth insight into the ingeniuty of Mr. Cornell, God rest his tireless, creative soul!. Features an excellent biographical introduction as well. The photo- illustrations are superb, showing both overall and macro views of his boxes. Highly recommend this book for the Cornell lover, also makes for a great coffe table book too for your average art-loving page flipper.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful way to examine Joseph Cornell's work up close, in a way that most people will never be able to do. We normally can not turn the boxes around, and look at them closely at every angle, unless we know a Cornell collector. With this DVD you can do that, and these works were intended to be seen that way. The book is beautiful and thoughtfully written; it fills in background needed to fully appreciate the works.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
For those of you who missed the first printing and are choking on the $120+ price tags of the "second" hand copies, please know that the Voyager Foundation is doing a second printing in March of 2004 - keep on top of the listings and snap one up as soon as it appears - for the low-low asking price of $60.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a superlative tribute to and presentation of Cornell's beautiful work. I suggest the reviewer who said that there is no DVD included request a replacement and retract the above review. There IS a DVD, and it is wonderful.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Santa Monica reader on July 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a remarkable book, but even more alluring is the secret tucked into the back cover. A DVD. I keep this DVD by my computer and use it for an entertainment break. Not only is it full of pictures of the most beautiful Cornell boxes, the DVD production values are extremely visual and entertaining. The viewer can look closely at some of the loveliest boxes Cornell ever made, but it is done with a presentation that takes you into his world. The sun, and planets and layers upon layers of information are more than you can handle at one sitting. You will find yourself revisiting this disk over and over. On it are also talks by curators and collectors discussing stories and thoughts about Cornell, and even a demonstration of the sound a box with small marbles makes when its owner gently shakes it.

The book is a remarkable, loving journey into the world of Joseph Cornell. It is a must for any art lover.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Goodman on September 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The photography and commentary of this book alone are worth the price if you are wanting to learn about a remarkable artist.

But the DVD included with the book is truly amazing for those wanting to explore Cornell's work without the benefit of a museum viewing. Truly educational and yet simply organized and easy to view.
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