Transforming a Book through Collage

The Big Idea:

How do artists use everyday objects to explore the world around them?

Activity overview

Joseph Cornell constructed fantastic worlds by making collages of everyday elements, including found objects, printed text, photographs and drawings. Cornell foraged for his materials constantly and scoured bookstores, secondhand shops, and other public places. He organized them in an archive that he called his 'spare parts department.' By creating associations between the disparate items he collected, Cornell gave new meanings to otherwise ordinary materials.

In this activity you will:

  1. Learn about the art of Joseph Cornell
  2. Make a collage book using objects and imagery that are important to you
  3. Exchange collage projects with a classmate and write short reviews of each others' work

You will be graded on:

  1. Research notes about Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination
  2. The creativity, style, and effort demonstrated in your collaged book
  3. Review of classmates' collaged books
Look closely:
View detailed screens about Joseph Cornell, his shadowboxes, and collages. Be sure to click on all images, view all videos, read all documents, and use the zoom tool to look closely at the works of art.

New term:

collage