The Museum and the Photograph: Containers of Whatever

“What have we seen? . . . But what haven’t we seen? . . . A dream on ground level. A real five-franc bill, under glass, and the most current small change, just what you’d have in your pocket, but framed, mounted, empedestaled, laid on padded velvet, and labeled in an eccentric script. . . . Two porcelain chamber pots, white on blue, with flower and leaf motifs and a romantic thatched hut. The god Mars, very lifelike, in faux bronze, ‘the perfect gift item,’ with a label around its neck as if it were a parcel: ‘To our dear godmother, from her three grateful godchildren.’ A stuffed rabbit, extremely instructive. A wooden shoe, prewar tin soldiers, a modern bust of Themistocles. . . . All kinds of ducks from the next pond. A stuffed turkey-head mounted as a coat hook, a little pretentious, with a grainy neck as repulsive as a disease. Some

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 1991 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.