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Now, Voyager

A work made of collage composed of cut and pasted, commercially printed papers, with brush and black ink and touches of yellow gouache on untempered masonite.
© The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York

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  • A work made of collage composed of cut and pasted, commercially printed papers, with brush and black ink and touches of yellow gouache on untempered masonite.

Date:

1966

Artist:

Joseph Cornell
American, 1903-1972

About this artwork

The title of this collage originally derives from a two-line poem by Walt Whitman: “The untold want by life and land ne’er granted,/ Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find” (“The Untold Want” [I87l), in Walt Whitman, Complete Poetry and Collected Prose, New York, 1982, p. 608). Now Voyager was also the name of a 1941 novel by Olive Higgins Prouty and of a 1942 movie, based on the novel, starring Bette Davis. The title’s attraction for Cornell, given the voyage theme in so many of his works, is obvious. Here, though, the combination of title and image suggests a journey of a more interior kind, which is indeed evoked by Whitman‘s poem, and is a theme developed in both the novel and movie: these focus on the growth of the main protagonist, Charlotte Vale, from repressive childhood into mature adulthood. In Cornell‘s collage a child of uncertain gender is shown riding a merry-go-round horse, but the child’s distant gaze and the planets above hint at an imagined voyage of much grander dimensions.

— Entry, Dawn Ades, Surrealist Art: The Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1997, p. 91.

On View

Prints and Drawings, Gallery 397

Artist

Joseph Cornell

Title

Now, Voyager

Origin

United States

Date

1966

Medium

Collage composed of cut and pasted, commercially printed papers, with brush and black ink and touches of yellow gouache on untempered masonite

Dimensions

289 × 213 mm

Credit Line

Lindy and Edwin Bergman Joseph Cornell Collection

Reference Number

1982.1870

Copyright

© The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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