Joseph Cornell is well known for the oneiric quality of his art and films. Many have tried, often in vain. Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams. Diane Waldman. Joseph Cornell has ratings and 20 reviews. David said: Cornell's BoxesI would have first encountered Cornell's work as part of a Surrealism/Dada. Find great deals for Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams by Diane Waldman (, Paperback). Shop with confidence on eBay!
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Joseph Cornell : Master of Dreams by Diane Waldman (, Paperback) | eBay
He was slightly stooped and wore a thick sweater, slacks and loafers. His was a formidable presence, made more so by the shape of his head, which resembled a bird's.
His hands were rough and calloused, the hands joseph cornell master of dreams a worker, and his grip was like a vice.
He was invariably polite and seldom laughed. Cornell's brother, Robert, was ensconced in the front room of the house, normally the living room, which faced on to a porch. The dining room, adjacent to Robert's room, was rarely used.
Cornell's bedroom was joseph cornell master of dreams the first floor, and it was painted, like some of his boxes, the blue of the night sky.
His studio was in the basement, but his boxes were everywhere: His studio was cluttered with works, some finished, many in progress. He rarely worked in his cellar when I visited him, preferring to carry on passionate and learned discourses on art, literature and music, rummaging all the while in one of his "dossiers" for something he could never find, or proudly showing off his stacks of books on one or more artists he treasured.
His family life joseph cornell master of dreams on the kitchen, and it was there that I spent the better part of a year.
Until then, no research had been done on either his life or his work. I visited Cornell with the objective of establishing a context for his work, a chronology of his life and key events, in order to write my master's thesis on his art.
During many visits, Cornell would place one of his boxes joseph cornell master of dreams the kitchen table and await my response. I would begin our dialogue by asking about its date.
Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams by Diane Waldman
Cornell, however, had little patience for details and abhorred questions about dates. He felt that dating his boxes robbed them of their validity.
After we had discussed one or more themes related to the box in question, he would retreat to the window, pull the curtain aside and stand staring into the back yard, lost in one of his reveries. Once he disappeared from the kitchen, returning with a "special" box stored in a joseph cornell master of dreams chest in Robert's room.
Again I asked him about the date of the work, and again his thoughts drifted away.
He often engaged in a form of self-hypnosis, allowing his mind to free-associate. I thought then, as I do now, that this dreamlike state was more surreal than his so-called surrealist work.
Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams
When he left the room, I unscrewed the tops of the boxes with a screwdriver I brought with me. I also measured them. Sometimes I found a date on the inside top edge of the box, or a note with instructions about the care of a box, and I felt vindicated.
joseph cornell master of dreams
I visited Cornell once a week, and cannot recall meeting anyone other than a family member or a studio assistant. I stayed for lunch, which usually consisted of a cup of Campbell's soup and a particular sweet often stale that his mother brought home from church. The house had minimal heat, and in the winter he would offer me a sweater to throw over my shoulders, while he stood near joseph cornell master of dreams open oven.
Quietly musing, he would forget where he was and suddenly jump away from joseph cornell master of dreams stove because it was too hot.