Joseph Cornell - Rorschach Drawings

The world is a harmless enigma made terrible by our own mad attempt
to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth

Umberto Eco

"They Say the Owl is a Baker's Daughter" Ophelia, 1971

Untitled, 1971

Untitled, 1971

On the Name of Susan, 1971

Untitled (Sur le nom de Malibran la lettre "M"), 1971

Sur le Nom de Jonas/Extraite de La Comedie H./d'Olympio, n.d.

Untitled, 1969

"D" in Descartes, 1971

Untitled, 1971

Celestial Muse of Ping Pong, 1971

Untitled, n.d.

Laurel's Rabbit, 1971

Untitled, ca. 1965

Untitled, ca. 1965

from the digital archives of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
more examples can be found at the Archives of American Art


  1. I don't know why but the appearance of a bird in Celestial Muse of Ping Pong feels... comforting. There's something in its more deliberate familiarity, I guess. Its presence also seems to make the main subject look like it's in flight. The second image keeps cracking me up though - it looks like Kermit the Frog, a locust, and Darth Vader all rolled into one silly creature.

  2. Vincent, thanks for your hilarious comment! I am just reading this wonderful book realizing he wasn't only an amazing visual artist, but also a very poetic and surrealistic writer.


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