Children's Stories and 'Child-Time' in the Works of Joseph Cornell and the Transatlantic Avant-Garde: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Children's Stories and 'Child-Time' in the Works of Joseph Cornell and the Transatlantic Avant-Garde

1st Edition

By Analisa Leppanen-Guerra


280 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138270107
pub: 2016-09-23
Hardback: 9781409401568
pub: 2011-09-28

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Focusing on his evocative and profound references to children and their stories, Children's Stories and 'Child-Time' in the Works of Joseph Cornell and the Transatlantic Avant-Garde studies the relationship between the artist's work on childhood and his search for a transfigured concept of time. This study also situates Cornell and his art in the broader context of the transatlantic avant-garde of the 1930s and 40s. Analisa Leppanen-Guerra explores the children's stories that Cornell perceived as fundamental in order to unpack the dense network of associations in his under-studied multimedia works. Moving away from the usual focus on his box constructions, the author directs her attention to Cornell's film and theater scenarios, 'explorations', 'dossiers', and book-objects. One highlight of this study is a work that may well be the first artist's book of its kind, and has only been exhibited twice: Untitled (Journal d'Agriculture Pratique), presented as Cornell's enigmatic tribute to Lewis Carroll's Alice books.


Prize: Winner of a College Art Association Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant

'Various writers in the past have touched on Joseph Cornell’s fascination with childhood, and on play and toys as subjects in his work, but there has not yet been a study which deals with the subject head-on. This book is among the best in the rich literature on Cornell.' David Hopkins, University of Glasgow, UK

'… this book would be of interest to those researching representations of childhood and children, as well as those considering adaptations of children’s literature. The text is also worth considering for its representations of gender identities… Leppanen-Guerra provides an amazingly detailed and interesting evaluation of Cornell’s work. She clearly situates him within the transatlantic avant-garde movement and highlights this artist’s fascinating perspective on childhood. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in adaptations of children’s literature, children in art, and representations of childhood, maturation, and gendered identities.' Children’s Literature Association Quarterly

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; ABCs: the classroom; The Little Mermaid: the dancer; The Little Prince: the observatory; Alice in Wonderland: the wanderer; Through the Looking-Glass: the chess-game; Beauty and the Beast: the rite of passage; Sleeping Beauty: the museum; Conclusion; Postscript: 'fin du rêve'; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Analisa Leppanen-Guerra teaches in the History of Art & Architecture Department at DePaul University, Chicago, USA. She specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art and visual culture.

About the Series

Studies in Surrealism

Studies in Surrealism
With scholarly interest in Surrealism greater than ever, the Studies in Surrealism series serves as a forum for key areas of Surrealist inquiry today. This series extends the ongoing academic and popular interest in Surrealism, evident in recent studies that have rethought established areas of Surrealist activity and engagement, including those of politics, the object, photography, crime, and modern physics. Expanding and adding various lines of inquiry, books in the series examine Surrealism's intersections with philosophical, social, artistic, and literary themes. Potential subjects to be examined in the context of Surrealism include but are not limited to: nature; queer studies; humor and play; science; theory in the 1950s and 1960s; the New Novel; Surrealist activities beyond Paris. Proposals are welcomed for both monographs and essay collections dealing with the above subjects or with discussions of Surrealism in other aspects and genres. Monographic writings on artists and writers who have been generally overlooked by English-language scholarship (for instance, Victor Brauner, Toyen, Jorge Camacho) would also fall within the scope of this series.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature