Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ideals are Like Stars

Joseph Cornell, "Ideals are like stars, about 1957-58,
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1984.124.71

Sequestered in a small frame house in Queens on Utopia Parkway, writing fan letters to the famous and glamorous, supporting his mother and invalid brother, selling fabric and appliances door to door, self-taught and, in his own words, "without intellectual equipment," there lived a hermetic visionary who created constellations of heavenly bodies from the scraps of secondhand "junk" shops, the ephemera of the 19th century, an Eden that ended with World War I. His name was Joseph Cornell and today is his birthday. Happy birthday, Joseph.


Nanny said...


tess said...

Charles Simic has a beautiful little Biopoegraphy of Cornell: Dime-Store Alchemy. Maybe you've read it?