Modern Art Monday Presents: Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy? By Marcel Duchamp

Why Not Sneeze
All Photos By Gail

Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy? is a 1921 Readymade sculpture by Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp considered this to be an “Assisted Readymade” because the original object, the Birdcage, was altered by the artist with the addition of the other objects. These consist of 152 white cubes (made of marble but resembling sugar cubes), a mercury thermometer, a piece of cuttlebone, and a tiny porcelain dish.

Why Not Sneeze

The birdcage is made of painted metal and contains several wooden perches. Rrose Sélavy, or Rose Sélavy, was one of the pseudonyms used by artist for the creation of other works, such as This One.

Why Not Sneeze

The Philadelphia Museum of Art displays the original as part of the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. Several replicas made by Duchamp exist (this is one, from 1964, of those) but only in the original are the cubes stamped “Made in France.”

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Why Not Sneeze


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