Joseph Cornell Catalogue
Joseph Cornell
Chronology
1931
Begins visiting the Julien Levy Gallery, New York, where he is introduced to Surrealism; in particular the work of Max Ernst. Around this time, he begins to make his own collages.
 
1932
Participates in first group exhibition entitled "Surréalisme" at Julien Levy Gallery. First solo exhibition is presented in back room of Julien Levy. Is affiliated with gallery until its closing in 1949. Starts to work with "shadow-box" format. Learns to craft wooden boxes from a next-door neighbor.
 
1933
Writes a film scenario titled Monsieur Phot, after seeing films by Surrealists Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel.
 
1935
Appears in first major museum exhibition, "American Painting and Sculpture of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries" at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut.
 
1936
Meets Marcel Duchamp and Walter Murch. Included in exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York: "Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism."
 
Julien Levy Gallery presents evening of films including a selection from Cornell’s archives collection and Cornell’s first film Rose Hobart.
 
1938
Wadsworth Atheneum purchases Soap Bubble Set, 1936.
 
1939-1940
Makes several trips to World's Fair; purchases Dutch clay pipes for his Soap Bubble Sets.
 
1941
Publishes photomontage and essay titled ”Enchanted Wanderer”: Excerpt from a Journey Album for Hedy Lamarr in View (series 1, no. 9-10, p. 3).
 
1942
Meets Roberto Matta and Robert Motherwell. Peggy Guggenheim acquires two boxes and an object, and includes him in the opening exhibition of her gallery, Art of This Century. Is affiliated with this gallery (as well as Julien Levy) until its closing in 1947. Meets Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning.
 
Designs first three covers of Dance Index, edited by Donald Windham.
 
Contributes photomontage series titled Story without a Name for Max Ernst to View in View (series 2, no. 1, p. 23).
 
1943
Designs cover of the “Americana Fantastica” issue of View and contributes pictorial essays, illustrations, and layouts.
 
1945
Designs Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art, New York, based on a nineteenth-century astronomical engraving.
 
1946
"Portraits of Women: Constructions and Arrangements by Joseph Cornell" at Hugo Gallery, New York; demonstrates format of dossiers and portfolios.
 
1947
"Film Soiree: Selected Rarities from the Collection of Joseph Cornell" at Norlyst Gallery, New York.
 
1948
"Objects by Joseph Cornell" at Copley Galleries, Beverly Hills, California.
 
1949
"La Lanterne Magique du Ballet Romantique of Joseph Cornell" at Hugo Gallery, last exhibition of works inspired by the ballet.
 
"Aviary by Joseph Cornell" at Egan Gallery, New York. Joins Egan Gallery and begins affiliation with American avant-garde.
 
1951
The Museum of Modern Art acquires the box Central Park Carousel - 1950 - in Memoriam.

Meets Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko.

 
1953
First solo exhibition at an American museum organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
 
1953-1956
Included in Whitney Museum of American Art "Annuals."
 
1954
Pursues interest in filmmaking . Directs three films (The Aviary; Joanne, Union Sq.; and A Legend for Fountains) with Rudy Burckhardt as cameraman.
 
Designs “Constellation,” the Museum of Modern Art’s Christmas card.
 
1955
Directs GniR RednoW [Wonder Ring] and Centuries of June, based on the demolition of the Third Avenue El and a Flushing home, with Stan Brakhage as cameraman.
 
1957
Directs Nymplight and Angel with Rudy Burckhardt as cameraman.
 
1958
Directs Seraphina's Garden with Rudy Burckhardt as cameraman.
 
1960
Directs efforts towards collages, declines production of boxes.
 
1961
Starts relying on assistants to search for and organize materials, and help with carpentry.
 
1961-1962
Included in "The Art of Assemblage" organized by The Museum of Modern Art; exhibition places his art outside of the Surrealist genre.
 
1962
Collages show renewed interest in Times Square area and a revival of the Penny Arcade theme in his art. Befriends Joyce Hunter, a young waitress and struggling actress.
 
1964
Starts incorporating photos of his house, environs in New York and Flushing in his art. Joyce Hunter is murdered; he begins inscribing her name in collages.
 
1965
Death of his brother Robert; incorporates photostated copies of Robert's drawings in his collages.
 
1967
First retrospective exhibitions at Pasadena Museum of Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
 
1968
Receives awards from Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, and American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York.
 
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