Joseph Cornell : Stargazing in the Cinema

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  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 1999-11-10
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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Best known for evocative box-constructions in which he assembled small objects and ephemera, the American surrealist Joseph Cornell (1903-72) was also a devoted fan of the cinema. He thrived on almost daily visits to movie theaters, amassed archives of films and film stills, created short motion pictures, and produced works honoring his favorite females movie stars. This book examines for the first time Cornell's "portrait-homages" to these actresses, Hedy Lamarr, Lauren Bacall, Greta Garbo, and Jennifer Jones, among others.

Focusing on Cornell's "cinematic imagination" and the ways he adapted techniques of accumulation, collection, and juxtaposition to the art of portrayal, Jodi Hauptman argues that Cornell's movie star portraits are his most emblematic works. She shows how each portrait is inflicted by the star's personality, roles, and the moment of a particular film's release and how Cornell ultimately transforms each of his subjects. Hauptman also explores the links between collection and desire, contending that Cornell is both a surrealist and a histori

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: The Enchanted Wanderer, or Love at Last Sight 1(10)
The Romantic Museum
A Cinematic Imagination: The Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall
The Erupting and Occluded Body: Rose Hobart
A Pearl Suspended: Greta Garbo
Night-Wandering: Souvenirs for Singleton
Innocence Unpacked: The Crystal Cage
Conclusion: The Custodian 201(10)
Notes 211(18)
Bibliography 229(14)
Index 243

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