Curator's Choice

Manual of Instructions: Étant donnés: 1' la chute d'eau, 2' le gaz d'clairage

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Manual of Instructions: Étant donnés: 1' la chute d'eau, 2' le gaz d'clairage
Tags: French

Editor's Choice:

I am very new to the museum, so I have been spending a lot of time perusing our departmental bookshelves to learn more about our past publications. This one brought me particular delight. It is beautiful and tactile and weird; it is something that you want to hold, explore, and puzzle over. I also love that it is uniquely a product of Philadelphia Museum of Art; it is part of a story about Marcel Duchamp that really only we can tell. Although I have only been at the Museum for a few months, my love for it goes back to my undergrad days, when I wrote my senior thesis on Duchamp and made a pilgrimage down from Boston to visit The Large Glass and Étant donnés. I would have loved having this book then, as a window into the mind of an endlessly enigmatic artist.

—Katie Reilly, William T. Ranney Director of Publishing, Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Out of print for a number of years, this facsimile of Marcel Duchamp’s Manual of Instructions was prepared by the artist for the disassembly of Étant donnés in his New York studio and its reassembly at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. First published more than twenty years ago, the manual has had far-reaching ramifications for the study of Étant donnés and Duchamp. Illustrated with 116 black-and-white Polaroids taken by the artist and 35 pages of his handwritten notes and sketches, the revised edition includes a new essay by Michael R. Taylor on the pivotal importance of the manual to an understanding of Duchamp’s artistic practice as well as the first English translation of the artist’s text.

  • Hardcover
  • 76 pages
  • 12" x 11" x 1/2"
  • Yale University Press, 2009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300149807
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