Joseph Cornell
Untitled (Pink Palace), ca. 1950

Cornell scoured Manhattan’s bookstores and thrift shops for dusty treasures that he rearranged and reanimated as intimate box constructions. Here, a stately European palace, bathed in rosy pink and covered in snow, emerges from the backdrop of a winter forest. Cornell conveys a sense of theater in miniature with the sparkling blue proscenium through which we view the magical fantasy world. It evokes fairy tales and child’s play, but the hermetically sealed space also suggests an unnatural stillness — an eerie disquietude that belies its enchanting facade.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Untitled (Pink Palace)
Artist name
Joseph Cornell
Date created
ca. 1950
wooden box containing photostat with ink wash, wood, mirror, plant material, and artificial snow
8 5/8 in. × 14 1/4 in. × 4 3/8 in. (21.91 cm × 36.2 cm × 11.11 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Purchase through a gift of Mr. and Mrs. William M. Roth and William L. Gerstle
© The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Joseph Cornell

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