Ever since I first saw a few of Joseph Cornell's boxes in the National Gallery of Art in D.C. years ago, I have been enamored with his work. His work has a mysterious magical quality to it. I have gone back again and again to those little boxes tucked away in the East Wing of the gallery. Since they are under Plexiglas, they have a very sacred feel to them - precious artifacts preserved for all time making them all the more mysterious.
I was very fortunate to see two exhibitions of Cornell's work over the last three or four years. The first was at the Art Institute of Chicago. They have several rooms of his work, and it was the first time, I was able to view so many of his pieces in one place. I believe that these are part of the museum's permanent collection. The other was a retrospective that showed at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum in D.C. This exhibition brought together some of Cornell's most famous pieces as well as many of his collages and early works. What really rounded out the retrospective was all the "fodder". When Cornell passed away, he left a basement studio packed with boxes and files of images, objects, and all sorts of random things that he used to create his pieces. Photos of his studio show shelves lined with these boxes. It was a nice glance into his process being able to see his ephemera as well as pieces only partially completed. I was able to go the the retrospective on three different occasions, and I consider myself very lucky.
So, the above page is a little homage to Joseph Cornell with the image of Cornell done as a packaging tape transfer. The page was completed a couple of years ago in Journal #9.