Joseph Cornell’s Manual of Marvels

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The extraordinary, little-known masterpiece by the great American artist Joseph Cornell - an entrancing tour de force

Produced in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this unique 'Cornell box' contains:

• a facsimile volume, with cutouts, collages and tip-ins

• the story behind the work in an illustrated volume of essays

• an interactive CD of the complete original book

Joseph Cornell loved to meander through Manhattan’s secondhand bookstalls and antiquarian shops in search of books, old documents, and faded photographs. One day, he came upon a French agricultural manual, the Journal d’Agriculture Pratique, from 1911.

He took it home and began to work on the book, making cutouts through which one could view collaged elements, inserting images from old photographs, and tipping-in classic paintings and transparent overlays. In the process, Cornell reinvented the French manual as an American masterpiece.