"American artist Joseph Cornell (1903–1972) has been celebrated internationally for his boxes, collages, and films since the 1930s. His mining of far-flung ideas and traditions and elegant integration of woodworking, painting, papering, and drawing define the innovation and visual poetry associated with his work. Above all, he forever altered the concept of the box—from a time-honored functional container into a new art form, the box construction….
His lyrical, often surprising combinations of materials and ideas are usually associated with surrealism, a European art movement that emphasized dreams and poetic dislocation in the 1920s and 1930s. Surrealism, however, was just one of many resources that Cornell called upon as an artist driven by innate curiosity and creativity rather than by theories and formal art training…"
Lynda Roscoe Hartigan
PEM’s Chief Curator and Curator of Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination