Franklin Environmental Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103
531 College Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
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Open to the Public

Containing Wonder: Joseph Cornell and the Legacy of the Curiosity Cabinet

Throughout his long career, Joseph Cornell obsessively collected items for his assemblage boxes. Shells, bits of coral, crystals, mineral specimens, stuffed birds, butterflies, tiny sculptures, and postage stamps featuring famous paintings — all these and more made their way into his artworks. Moreover, he amassed clipping files and books on topics as far-ranging as natural history, nineteenth-century ballerinas, and the art of Albrecht Dürer. In this respect, Cornell’s creative process mirrors the interests and collecting patterns of sixteenth and seventeenth-century compilers of wunderkammern and cabinets of curiosity. This lecture will explore the parallels between Cornell’s assemblages and the curiosity cabinet, drawing extensively on Cornell’s personal collections and archives.

Sponsored by:
Academic Affairs

Contact Organizer

King, Sandra A.
(802) 443-2007