Boîte (Box) C Series, mounted by Iliazd in 1958
Date 1958
Medium Box with exterior covering in linen, lined with grey-blue Ingres paper/ Carboard, wood, paper, fabric, ceramic, glass and plastic
Dimensions 40 x 38 x 9 cm
Inventory ID UID 102-177
‘Everything important that I have done can fit inside a little valise.’ (Marcel Duchamp in an interview with Life magazine, April 1952). In 1936, Marcel Duchamp began the creation of a ‘portable museum’ tracing his career. On 1 January 1941, the first complete Box in a Valise was purchased by Peggy Guggenheim. It contained over sixty reproductions, including three minuscule replicas of ‘Readymades’ and a miniature version of his Large Glass in celluloid. Marcel Duchamp assembled the first twenty-four examples himself. The following 280 boxes, completing the total edition, were assembled in successive series until 1968. Ecke Bonk, in his book Marcel Duchamp: The Box in a Valise, explains that the true title of this facsimile is ‘of or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy’ (a reference to the identity chosen by Marcel Duchamp around 1920, a learned and disconcerting woman). Only the first twenty-four ‘deluxe’ examples were meant to be called Boîte en Valise, or simply Valise. The following 280 examples were only Boxes. An example from series C (1958) is in the Berardo Collection. J-FC