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Joseph Cornell: Navigating The Imagination

Navigating The Imagination, a Joseph Cornell interactive created by the Peabody Essex Museum, allows a visitor to open up some of this artist's boxes, shake out the objects, and play with them (at least virtually). Short on text and long on pictures, the interactive begins with a compartmentalized box holding details from Cornell's works. Cornell's magic and mystery is preserved as viewers navigate through various sections of the web site by clicking and selecting images that seem to float by, coming closer and then receding. For example, "Geographies of the Heavens" begins with what looks like a map of the constellations, and features an engraving of a gentleman wearing a ruff and gold chains, and a Cornell box with balls of cork, cordial glasses, and blue marbles. It takes some experimenting to discover that repeatedly clicking the gentleman reveals additional images of other Cornell works, and it takes consulting the illustrated Web checklist, helpfully provided in .pdf, to find out that the gentleman is likely astronomer Tycho Brahe, the box is Cornell's Soap Bubble Set, and several of the other images are from a pleated book collage that Cornell created in 1924, entitled Panorama.
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GEM Subject
Date Issued 2007
Required Software
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2007-11-09
Archived Scout Publication URL

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