description of La boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase) by Marcel Duchamp

This work consists of dozens of reproductions, some sculptural, but most on paper, which can be stacked, bundled up, and stored in a cardboard box that fits inside a brown leather valise. When the valise is opened, several panels unfold from within to create, in essence, the walls of a small, portable museum. Miniatures of the artist’s most famous sculptures are displayed in this tiny gallery, including ‘Fountain’, and ‘50cc air de Paris’. On the unfolded walls are prints of some of Duchamp’s Cubist paintings, and photographs of elaborate sculptures. Additional prints and sheets of handwritten text can be removed from the valise and displayed lying flat, or standing upright on folding frames that resemble greeting cards. The loose pieces include a photo of Duchamp’s sculpture ‘Bottle Rack’, and a [doctored] print of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’.

Marcel Duchamp, La boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase), 1935-1941
Marcel Duchamp, La boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase), 1935-1941; photographic reproductions, celluloid, plaster, porcelain, vinyl, paper, wood, and Masonite, 2 7/8 in. x 13 3/4 in. x 15 1/8 in. (7.3 cm x 34.93 cm x 38.42 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Purchase and gift of Richard B. Freeman; © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp, La boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase), 1935-1941

Artwork Info

Artwork title
La boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase)
Artist name
Marcel Duchamp
Date created
1935-1941
Classification
sculpture
Medium
photographic reproductions, celluloid, plaster, porcelain, vinyl, paper, wood, and Masonite
Dimensions
2 7/8 in. x 13 3/4 in. x 15 1/8 in. (7.3 cm x 34.93 cm x 38.42 cm)
Date acquired
1981
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Purchase and gift of Richard B. Freeman
Copyright
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/81.40.A-QQQ
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

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