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Video: How Joseph Cornell became an artist

Published 6 July 2015

The curator of our Cornell exhibition describes how this singular artist’s life in early 20th century New York shaped his first forays into the art world.

  • Joseph Cornell had no formal art training, and was working as a textile salesman in Manhattan when a twist of fate introduced him to the art world. He went on to develop his distinctive artistic practice while caring for his mother and his disabled brother Robert at their home in the New York suburb of Queens.

    In this video, Sarah Lea, curator of Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust, discusses how – and when – Cornell became an artist.

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    How Joseph Cornell became an artist

    Curator Sarah Lea describes Joseph Cornell’s unorthodox career path from textile salesman to artist.