University of Pennsylvania, ARTH785, Fall 2001, Tuesdays, 4-6 pm



This seminar will introduce the art and ideas of Marcel Duchamp, focusing in particular on the reception of the artistís work, along with its theoretical implications and historical consequences. The course will be broken down into four core components:


  1. "From Impressionism to the Readymade, 1902-1913" Ė Weeks 1-3
  2. This section will focus on Duchampís transit through Monet, Cézanne, Symbolism, and Cubism in his early paintings, leading up to the scandal of the Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2, at the Armory Show of 1913. It will examine Duchampís artistic development, beginning with his newspaper caricatures, the first exhibition of his paintings in the Salon des Independents in 1909, and his working relationship with his brothers, Jacques Villon and Raymond Duchamp-Villon at Puteaux around 1910. We will also look at Duchampís friendships with such luminaries of the Parisian art world as Apollinaire and Picabia, with whom he attended a performance of Raymond Rousselís Impressions díAfrique in 1912. This was a seminal year in the artistís life, in which he would come to grips with the structural and spatial implications of Cubism. The rejection of the Nude Descending by the Salon Cubists Gleizes and Metzinger in that year would lead to the artistís break with the Puteaux Circle and his abandonment of painting in favor of the readymade.


  3. "Through the Large Glass, 1913-1926" Ė Weeks 4-8
  4. This section will introduce the The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) through Duchampís notes and related paintings. It will explore the critical reception and hermeneutics of the work, including the impact of Jarry and Roussel, the erotic implications of the human-machine analogy, the role of Science and the Fourth Dimension, and the "readymade talk" of the Glass. Duchampís move to the United States in 1915 and his subsequent friendships with Louise and Walter Arensberg, Katherine Dreier, Man Ray, Joseph Stella, the Stettheimer sisters, and other artists, writers, and musicians associated with New York Dada will also be addressed here. Another aspect will be the artistís adoption of a female alter-ego, Rrose Selavy. Finally, the reception of the artistís readymades, the Fountain scandal, and the artistís abandonment of painting in 1923 will be examined Ė notion of "retinal" painting, before ending with the first public exhibition of the Large Glass at the Brooklyn Museum in 1926, after which the work was smashed in transit to Katherine Dreierís house.



  5. "Duchamp and Surrealism, 1927-1945" Ė Weeks 9-10
  6. This section will look at Duchampís complicated relationship with the Surrealist movement, especially his role as an installation designer and "generator-arbitrator" of group exhibitions in both Europe and the United States. The artistís friendships with Breton, Ernst, Matta, Donati, and other members of the group will be discussed, especially during the Second World War years, when many Surrealist artists and writers found themselves in New York. Another aspect will be Duchampís refusal to condemn former Surrealists and close friends Dali and De Chirico, who he publicly defended against Bretonís wishes. Important works from this period include the Boite-en-valise, which will be scrutinized in minute detail, along with the artistís increasing interest in chess. Other topics will include Duchampís experiments with film and optics.

  7. "Etant Donnes and the Reception of Marcel Duchamp, 1946-1968" Ė Weeks 11-12

The irony of the last two decades, when the artist was discovered and revered by a generation of American and European artists, including Johns, Rauschenberg, Cage, Hamilton, Warhol, Broodthaers, Nauman, and Kaprow, while all the time working in secret on "the final piece." This section will explore the critical and artistic reception of the artistís work in the 1950s and 1960s, focusing in particular on the retrospective exhibitions in Pasadena (1963) and London (1966), as well as the publications of Robert Lebelís monograph (1959) and the interviews with Pierre Cabanne (1967). Also up for discussion will be Duchampís installation of the Arensberg Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1954, which gave him the dimensions of the Etant donnes "room," along with other important events in the artistís life such as his relationship with the Brazilian sculptor Maria Martins, the first model for Etant donnes, and his marriage to Alexina "Teeny" Matisse in 1954. The final session will explore the artistís important role in the theoretical formulation of Postmodernism in the field of Art History.



















Week One: Introduction: Duchamp, Life and Work (General Reading List)

September 11, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

  1. Robert Lebel, Marcel Duchamp, New York: Grove Press, 1959.
  2. Walter Hopps, ed., By or of Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy, Pasadena Museum of

Art, 1963.

3. Richard Hamilton, The Almost Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, London: Tate Gallery, 1966.

4. Arturo Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1969. Revised edition, in 2 volumes, published by Delano Greenidge Editions, New York, in 1996.

5. Pierre Cabanne, Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp, New York: Viking Press, 1971.

6. Anne díHarnoncourt and Kynaston McShine, eds., Marcel Duchamp, Philadelphia

and New York: Philadelphia Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, 1973.

  1. Jean Clair, ed., Marcel Duchamp, Paris: Musée national díart modern, Centre
  2. Georges Pompidou, 1977, Exhibition catalogue in 4 Volumes.

  3. Jennifer Gough-Cooper and Jacques Caumont, "Ephemerides on and About Marcel

Duchamp and Rrose Sélavy, 1887-1968," in Pontus Hulten, ed., Marcel Duchamp, Milan: Bompiani, 1993.

9. Calvin Tomkins, Duchamp: A Biography, New York: Henry Holt, 19 4.

10. Francis Naumann and Hector Obalk, eds., Affectionately Marcel: The Selected Correspondence of Marcel Duchamp, Ghent: Ludion Press, 2000.


Week Two: Duchamp and Language/Humor (Word games, puns, caricatures)

September 18, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

1. Jeffrey Weiss, The Popular Culture of Modern Art: Picasso, Duchamp, and Avant-Gardism, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.

2. André Breton, Anthologie de líhumour noir, Paris: Editions du Sagittaire, 1940.

3. Wanda Corn, The Great American Thing: Modern Art and National Identity, 1915-1935, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999, read Chapter One, p.p.43-89.

  1. Molly Nesbit, Their Common Sense, London: Black Dog Publishing, 2000.
  2. Michel Sanouillet and Elmer Peterson, eds., Salt Seller: The Writings of Marcel

Duchamp (Marchand du Sel), New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.








Week Three: Duchamp and Cubism

September 25, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

1. David Joselit, Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp, 1910-1941, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998.

2. Jerrold Seigel, The Private Worlds of Marcel Duchamp: Desire, Liberation, and the Self in Modern Culture, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

3. Dawn Ades, Neil Cox, and David Hopkins, Marcel Duchamp, London: Thames and Hudson, 1999.

4. Thierry de Duve, Pictorial Nominalism: On Marcel Duchampís Passage from Painting to the Readymade, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991.

5. Pierre Cabanne, The Brothers Duchamp: Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Marcel Duchamp, Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1975.


Week Four: Duchamp and the Readymade

October 2, 2001 Ė Philadelphia Museum of Art

  1. Herbert Molderings, "The Bicycle Wheel and the Bottle Rack: Marcel Duchamp as
  2. Sculptor," in Exhibition catalogue, Marcel Duchamp: Respirateur, Schwerin: Staatliches Museum, 1995, p.p.146-169.

  3. William Camfield, Marcel Duchamp: Fountain, Houston: Menil Foundation, 1989.
  4. Molly Nesbit and Naomi Sawelson-Gorse, "Concept of Nothing: New Notes by
  5. Marcel Duchamp and Walter Arensberg," in Martha Buskirk and Mignon Nixon, eds., The Duchamp Effect, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996, p.p.130-175.

  6. David Reed, "The Developing Language of the Readymades," Art History, Vol.8,
  7. No.2, June 1985, p.p.209-227.

  8. Walter Hopps, Ulf Linde, and Arturo Schwarz, Marcel Duchamp, Readymades, etc.

(1913-1964), Milan: Galleria Schwarz, 1964.


Week Five: Duchamp and New York Dada

October 9, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

1. Francis Naumann, New York Dada, 1915-23, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994, (see also Exhibition catalogue, Making Mischief: Dada Invades New York, New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1996).

2. Steven Watson, Strange Bedfellows: The First American Avant-Garde, New York: Abbeville Press, 1991.

  1. Dickran Tashjian, Skyscraper Primitives: Dada and the American Avant-Garde,

1910-1925, Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1975.

4. Allan Antliff, Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and the First American

Avant-Garde, University of Chicago Press, 2001.

5. Robert E. Kuenzli, ed., New York Dada, New York: Willis, Locker, and Owens, 1986.

6. Dawn Ades, Dada and Surrealism Reviewed, London: Hayward Gallery and Arts Council of Great Britain, 1978.


Week Six: Duchamp and the Large Glass, Part One (Meaning and Interpretation)

October 16, 2001 Ė Philadelphia Museum of Art

1. John Golding, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, New York: Viking Press, 1973.

2. Jean Suquet, "Possible," in Thierry de Duve, ed., The Definitively Unfinished Marcel Duchamp, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991, p.p.85-110.

  1. Octavio Paz, Marcel Duchamp: Appearance Stripped Bare, New York: Arcade
  2. Publishing, 1978.

  3. Marcel Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, Typographic
  4. version of the "Green Box" by Richard Hamilton, London: Percy Lund, Humphries, 1960. (See also Arturo Schwarz, ed., Notes and Projects for the Large Glass, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1969; and Paul Matisse, ed., Marcel Duchamp Notes, Boston: G.K. Hall, 1983).

  5. Richard Hamilton, "The Large Glass," in Anne díHarnoncourt and Kynaston

McShine, eds., Marcel Duchamp, Philadelphia and New York: Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, 1973, p.p.58-67.


Week Seven: Duchamp and the Large Glass, Part Two (Science)
October 23, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

1. Linda Dalrymple Henderson, The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art, Princeton University Press, 1983.

2. Linda Dalrymple Henderson, Duchamp in Context: Science and Technology in the "Large Glass" and Related Works, Princeton University Press, 1997.

3. Craig Adcock, Marcel Duchampís Notes from the ĎLarge Glassí Ė An N-Dimensional Analysis, Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1983.

  1. Jean Clair, "Duchamp and the Classical Perspectivists," Artforum, Vol.16, No.7,

March 1978, p.p.40-49. (See also Clair, Marcel Duchamp ou le grand fictif: essai de mythanalyse du grand verre, Paris: Editions Galilée, 1975; Duchamp et la photographie, Paris: Le Chene, 1978; and Sur Marcel Duchamp et la fin de líart, Paris: Editions Gallimard, 2000).







Week Eight: Duchamp and Gender (Rrose Sélavy)

October 30, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

1. Amelia Jones, Postmodernism and the En-gendering of Marcel Duchamp, Cambridge University Press, 1994.

2. Paul Franklin, "Object Choice: Marcel Duchampís Fountain and the Art of Queer Art History," Oxford Art Journal, Vol.23, No.1, 2000, p.p.23-50.

3. David Hopkins, Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst: The Bride Shared, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998, (see also Hopkins, "Men Before the Mirror: Duchamp, Man Ray, and Masculinity," Art History, Vol.21, No.3, September 1998, p.p.302-323).

4. Susan Fillin-Yeh, "Dandies, Marginality and Modernism: Georgia OíKeeffe, Marcel Duchamp and Other Cross-dressers," Oxford Art Journal, Vol.18, No.2, 1995, p.p.33-44.

5. Dawn Ades, "Duchampís Masquerades," in Graham Clarke, ed., The Portrait in Photography, London: Reaktion Books, 1992, p.p.94-114.

6. Susan Rubin Suleiman, Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990.


Week Nine: Duchamp and Display (Surrealist Exhibition Installations)

November 6, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

1. Bruce Altschuler, The Avant-Garde in Exhibition: New Art in the 20th-Century, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994.

2. Lewis Kachur, Displaying the Marvelous: Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, and Surrealist Exhibition Installations, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001.

3. Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne, eds., Thinking About Exhibitions, London: Routledge, 1996.

4. Martica Sawin, Surrealism in Exile: The Beginning of the New York School, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995.

5. Dickran Tashjian, A Boatload of Madmen: Surrealism and the American Avant-Garde, 1920-1950, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995.

6. T.J. Demos, "Duchampís Labyrinth: First Papers of Surrealism, 1942," October, No.97, Summer 2001, p.p.91-119.


Week Ten: Marcel Duchampís Travelling Box

November 13, 2001 Ė Philadelphia Museum of Art

  1. Ecke Bonk, Marcel Duchamp: The Box in a Valise, New York: Rizzoli, 1989.

2. Francis Naumann, Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Making Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1999.

3. Walter Hopps, Ecke Bonk, and Ann Temkin, Marcel Duchamp/Joseph CornellÖIn Residence, Philadelphia and Houston: Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Menil Foundation, 1999.

4. Dalia Judovitz, Unpacking Duchamp: Art in Transit, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

5. Dawn Ades, Marcel Duchampís Travelling Box, London: Hayward Gallery and Arts Council of Great Britain, 1982.


Week Eleven: Duchamp and Eroticism (Etant donnés)

November 20, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

  1. Jean-François Lyotard, Les Transformateurs Duchamp, Paris: Editions Galilée,
  2. 1977, reprinted in English as Duchampís Transformers, Venice, California: Lapis Press, 1990.

  3. Dalia Judovitz, "Rendezvous with Marcel Duchamp: Given," in Francis Naumann
  4. and Rudolf Kuenzli, eds., Marcel Duchamp: Artist of the Century, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989, p.p. 184Ė202.

  5. Juan Antonio Ramirez, Duchamp: Love and Death, Even, London: Reaktion Books,


4. Mason Klein, "Embodying Sexuality: Marcel Duchamp in the Realm of Surrealism,"

in Maurice Berger, ed., Modern Art and Society: An Anthology of Social and Multicultural Readings, New York: Harper-Collins, 1994, p.p.139-157. (See also Klein, Toward a Phenomenology of the Self: Marcel Duchampís Etant donnés, Ann Arbor: UMI Press, 1994).

5. Anne díHarnoncourt and Walter Hopps, "Etant donnés: 1. La chute díeau, 2. Le gaz

díéclairage: Reflections on a New Work by Marcel Duchamp," Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol.64, April-September 1969, revised and updated in 1987. (See also Marcel Duchamp, Manual of Instructions for Etant donnés: 1. La chute díeau, 2. Le gaz díéclairage, Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1987).


Week Twelve: Duchamp and Postmodernism

November 27, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

1. Martha Buskirk and Mignon Nixon, eds., The Duchamp Effect, Cambridge: October Books/MIT Press, 1996.

  1. Bonnie Clearwater, ed., West Coast Duchamp, Miami: Grassfield Press, 1991.
  2. Thierry de Duve, Kant After Duchamp, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996.
  3. 4. Rosalind Krauss, The Optical Unconscious, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993. (See also Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989).

    5. Hal Foster, Compulsive Beauty, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993.


    Week Thirteen: Presentations

    December 4, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building


    Week Fourteen: Reading for Exams and Handing in Essays

    December 11, 2001 Ė Jaffe History of Art Building

    Essays and Presentations

    Each week students will be expected to present either a book report or a visual analysis of a work of art. These papers should be 1-2 pages in length, to be handed in at the end of every class, and presentations should last between 5-10 minutes.

    The main focus, however, will be on the research paper that students will be expected to hand in during Week 14. This essay should be 15-20 pages in length and will focus on one aspect of the course, (see below). Students are expected to present a 15 minute summary of their ideas in Week 13, before completing their essay, incorporating feedback from the class, during the following week.


    Suggested Paper Topics:


    1. Duchamp and Alfred Jarry

  4. Duchamp and Max Stirner

3. Duchamp, Villon, Duchamp-Villon

4. Duchamp and Dada

5. Duchamp and Perspective

6. Duchamp and André Breton

7. Duchamp and Film

8. Duchamp and Queer Theory

9. Duchamp and Salvador Dali

10. Duchamp and Exhibition Display

11. Duchamp and Postmodernism

  1. Duchamp and Conceptual Art
  2. Duchamp and Philosophy
  3. Duchamp and Language
  4. Duchamp and Andy Warhol