Joseph Cornell Manual

Joseph Cornell’s Manual of Marvels

How Joseph Cornell reinvented a French Agricultural Manual to create an American Masterpiece

(2 Volumes in a presentation box - including a free CD)
  1. Edited and Essays by Analisa Leppanen-Guerra
  2. Dickran Tashjian
  • ISBN 9780500516492
  • 25.50 x 17.00 cm
  • PLC (no jacket) in a box
  • 160pp
  • Illustrated in colour throughout
  • First published 2012

The extraordinary, little-known masterpiece by the great American artist Joseph Cornell - an entrancing tour de force

Cornell Manual of Marvels

Produced in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this unique 'Cornell box' contains:
• a facsimile volume, with cutouts, collages and tip-ins
• the story behind the work in an illustrated volume of essays
• an interactive CD of the complete original book

Joseph Cornell loved to meander through Manhattan’s secondhand bookstalls and antiquarian shops in search of books, old documents, and faded photographs. One day, he came upon a French agricultural manual, the Journal d’Agriculture Pratique, from 1911.

He took it home and began to work on the book, making cutouts through which one could view collaged elements, inserting images from old photographs, and tipping-in classic paintings and transparent overlays. In the process, Cornell reinvented the French manual as an American masterpiece.

About the contributors
Innis Howe Shoemaker is the Audrey and William H. Helfand Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Analisa Leppanen-Guerra teaches in the History of Art and Architecture Department at DePaul University. She specializes in nineteenth and twentieth-century art and visual culture. She recently published Children's Stories and "Child Time" in the Works of Joseph Cornell and the Transatlantic Avant-Garde.
Dickran Tashjian is Professor Emeritus of Art History, University of California, Irvine He has written extensively on Dada, Surrealism and Joseph Cornell. Among his works are A Boatload of Madmen and Gifts of Desire.
Dawn Ades is Professor of Art History and Theory at the University of Essex. Over the last thirty years she has been responsible for a number of important exhibitions about Dada, and Surrealism. She has published standard works on photomontage, Dada and Surrealism, as well as studies of Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp.