Born Nyack, New York, 1903. Died New York City, NY, 1972
A New Scale of Stellar Distances, n.d.
Mixed media box construction
9 3/8 x 15 x 4 5/16 inches
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation
Credit line: Art © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Photo credit: Peter Harholdt
Joseph Cornell is well-known for the shadow box constructions he created from the 1930's to the 1960's. Common motifs found in Cornell's works are constellations, balls and hoops (symbolic of planets and their orbits), birds (travelers over long distances and intermediaries between heaven and earth) and women (mostly actresses, ballerinas, and singers whom he venerated from afar). Small in size, these boxes are large in scale - poetic metaphors for the vastness of the imaginative life, full of magic, mystery and wonder.