Joseph Cornell (1903 - 1972)
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Joseph Cornell was one of the most celebrated exponents of assemblage who was born in Nyack, New York. After his father's death in 1917, Cornell and his family moved to Queens in New York City. Cornell attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Due to Cornell's social shyness, he isolated himself and became a self-taught artist. Cornell's works consisted of boxed assemblages created from found objects. Through his combination of Constructivism and Surrealism, Cornell was able to create poetry from commonplace objects. His boxes relied on irrational juxtaposition and often evoked nostalgia. Cornell also made short art films, such as his found-film montageRose Hobart (1936). During the 1920s, he worked as a wholesale fabric salesmen and, in 1931, secured a part-time position designing textiles. After his first solo show at the Charles Egan Gallery, he began selling his boxes for significant sums. His works are now under the copyrights of the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.