Joseph Cornell Catalogue
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Joseph Cornell
Biography
1903
Born December 24 in Nyack, New York, to Joseph I. Cornell and the former Helen Ten Broeck Storms; the first of four children. His father is in the textile business.
1917
Enters Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Studies primarily science and language.
Cornell's father dies.
1918
Family moves to Long Island, New York, due to financial troubles resulting from father's death.
1919-1920
Works during the summer in a textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
1921
Leaves Andover before completing course work and returns to new family home in Bayside, Queens.
1921-1931
Begins job selling wool textiles for the William Whitman Company, Inc., in Manhattan. He is required to travel across the city for his job which leads to his exploration of shops and acquisition of memorabilia. Throughout the 20s he attends dance, theater, and music performances, art exhibitions and films; collects material relating to these arts.
1926
Attends exhibitions of modern French painting and exhibitions organized by Alfred Stieglitz.
Converts to the practice of Christian Science.
1929
Family purchases house on Utopia Parkway in Flushing, New York, where he resides for the rest of his life. Supports his mother and invalid brother, Robert.
1931
Loses job selling textiles due to Depression.
1934
Hired to design textiles at the Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio, New York.
1940
Terminates employment at Traphagen's.
1941
Continues to do freelance work for Vogue and House and Garden, which he had started working on in the late 30's. Pursues writing in View and Dance Index.
Organizes basement studio.
1943
Begins to work at the Allied Control Company in Long Island City, New York.
1944
Terminates employment at Allied Control Company.
1965
Death of his brother Robert.
1966
Death of his mother.
1972
Dies of heart failure at his home in Flushing on December 29.
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