Notable Hands

Designers creating one-of-a-kind handmade products

Inspiration – Joseph Cornell’s Three-Dimensional Collage Boxes

I discovered the work of Joseph Cornell thanks to my Visual Merchandising instructor Martin Zanfardino. This self-taught artist created beautiful mini collage stories inside wooden boxes – that was his media.

He used exclusively recycled and found materials like old books, newspapers, and vintage objects to create compositions that stand out for their restricted small size, and their three-dimensionality, but most importantly because the dreamy worlds and small little treasures they turned into. Who wouldn’t love to have one of his boxes lying at home?

There is a strong vintage feel to Cornell’s boxes. Their faded tones, and Victorian references make his them inspiring and personable, especially because there is a narrative to them.

This kind of work gained the name assemblage within visual artists, who worked around the idea of creating two- and three-dimensional compositions based on randomly found objects. Modernists, such as Robert Rauschenberg, Picasso, and even Dadaist Marcel Duchamp could be related to this artistic process, as well.

I hope you find his work inspiring, too!


Soap Bubble Box

Parrot for Juan Gris

Images via The New York Times and Google

One comment on “Inspiration – Joseph Cornell’s Three-Dimensional Collage Boxes

  1. ute schätzmüller
    November 11, 2012

    They are really inspiring!

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Notable Hands by Laura Acosta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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