Joseph Cornell

Peabody Essex Museum
East India Square 161 Essex Street
April 28–August 19, 2007

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
151 Third Street
October 6, 2007–January 6, 2008

Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th and F Streets NW
November 17, 2006–February 19, 2007

Curated by Lynda Roscoe Hartigan

About as close to an outsider artist as an insider can get, Joseph Cornell was a compulsive collector with no formal art training, who toiled in his basement in Queens, New York, transforming his stash—seashells, newspaper clippings, Dutch clay pipes—into uncannily beautiful assemblages. That Cornell merits the appellation “American art master,” as this exhibition proclaims, is beyond dispute. But more in the mold of Robert Rauschenberg or of Henry Darger? Visitors to this retrospective—the artist’s first in twenty-five years—can decide for themselves. Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, from the co-organizing Peabody Essex Museum, assembles some two hundred objects, works on paper, documents, and films, promising comprehensive insight into Cornell’s exquisitely eccentric vision. Travels to the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, Apr. 28–Aug. 19, 2007; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oct. 6, 2007–Jan. 6, 2008.