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Marcel Duchamp

Not on view

Marcel Duchamp

Artist: Naomi Savage (American (b. 1927))

Date: 1949
Medium: gelatin silver print
10 x 8 in. (overall)
Signed: in graphite, on mount, lower right: N. Savage 1949
Inscribed: in graphite, on mount, lower left: Marcel Duchamp
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 2005.5.2
Label Text
Marcel Duchamp (1881-1968) believed that art should be in the service of the mind so, after initial forays into painting, he opted to subvert craft and skill by using mechanical and chance processes. He said he wanted to "reduce the idea of aesthetic consideration to the choice of the mind, not to the ability or the cleverness of the hand." He notoriously appropriated mundane objects and designated them "art" under the rubric of "readymade." Anything might be so designated-a rack for drying bottles, a bicycle wheel, or a snow shovel-although Duchamp chose these objects for their banality, their visual indifference, a lack of taste, good or bad. The Museum of Art recently acquired one of Duchamp's "Museum in a Box" (Boîte, in French), which is a collection of his work, in reproduction and in miniature.

Duchamp was close friends with American artist Man Ray (1890-1976), who taught photography to his niece, Naomi Savage.

February 2006

© Naomi Savage