Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1987. First edition. Hardcover. Fine copy in hardcover with the original wrap-around band present. Duchamp. 4to. Prospectus laid in. Between 1946 and 1966, when the world at large had long since considered that Duchamp had given up "art," Marcel Duchamp worked quietly in his New York studio, on the top floor of a building at 210 West 14th Street, on the fabrication of a large and complex tableau to which he gave the title 'Etant Donnes." When his work was completed, he inscribed its title, the dates, and his signature on the right arm of the nude female figure that constitutes the central element of the tableau, and proceeded to prepare an illustrated manual of instructions for the use of anyone needing to take the assemblage apart or to reassemble it. The manual of instructions, contained in a looseleaf binder, is dated by Duchamp to 1966. Before his death in Paris on October 2, 1968, at age 81, Etant Donnes was acquired by the Cassandra Foundation. Later that year, in accordance with his wish, the Foundation presented it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it joined the largest collection of Duchamp's work in the world. By the terms of the agreement whereby Etant Donnes was given to the Museum, no photographs of the interior of the construction itself nor of the notebook of instructions were to be published by the Museum for a period of at least fifteen years. Duchamp's instruction manual proved essential to the task of moving the assemblage, which has been previously transferred by Duchamp himself to a small room in a commercial building at 80 East 11th Street when the lease on his 14th Street studio expired. This is the reproduction of the manual of instructions. Bound in. (Inventory #: 13797)
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