Joseph Cornell Planet Set, Tête Etoilée, Giuditta Pasta (dédicace) 1950

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Artwork details

Artist
Joseph Cornell 1903–1972
Title
Planet Set, Tête Etoilée, Giuditta Pasta (dédicace)
Date 1950
Medium Glass, crystal, wood and paper
Dimensions Object: 305 x 457 x 102 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1974
Reference
T01846

Display caption

Cornell’s glazed boxes contain assemblages of found objects that have mysterious and poetic associations. This work is dedicated to Giuditta Pasta, a nineteenth-century Italian opera singer. Cornell idolised a number of almost-forgotten stars of the ballet and opera, who epitomised for him the ideals of the Romantic era. The box includes astronomical charts and two balls balanced on rods, which suggest planets orbiting the sun. This astronomical theme may relate to a contemporary account, which Cornell kept among his cuttings, in which Pasta’s voice is described as evoking the beauty of the night sky.

September 2004

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