Thursday, May 16, 2013


Here’s a story we heard from the guard standing by Marcel Duchamp’s The large glass in the Philadelphia Museum. When the collection of Duchamp’s work owned by Louise and Walter Arensberg was donated to the Museum, Duchamp designed the first installation himself (and some of the key works are still where he placed them). During this process Duchamp learnt that outside one of the blank walls in his gallery was a large courtyard and fountain. He asked for a window to be cut into the stone wall and to Duchamp’s delight the gushing water of the fountain outside was reflected in The large glass. Typically though, despite most of his key works being included in the gallery, there was no sign of his readymade sculpture Fountain.
Images: Top, Duchamp’s The large glass with our guard behind it. Bottom, the ‘Duchamp’ window and the view of the fountain beyond.